worship in Italy always represent the highest
expressions of art
Here we present a list of the most representative
churches which are worth a visit, including a few which are not so
famous but are really amazing.
The Italian peninsula
has been the cradle of many religions. From the ancient pagan
temples which are still visible in most of the archaeological sites in
Italy, to the famous Catacombs where the first Christians tried to
spread the word of God, to the oldest baptistries in Naples and Rome
and the thousands of churches scattered along the entire peninsula, this amizing country is full of mystic places which offer visitors a proper
insight into Italy's
history, art and architectural styles.
St. John's Baptistry in Naples
The Baptistry dedicated to Saint John, in the Cathedral
of Naples, is
considered to be the oldest one in the western countries. Its interiors
are still decorated with the original mosaics which date back to the
early years of the 4th century. The Baptistry is accessible from the
Santa Restituta chapel which is encountered as the oldest church in
Naples as it was built by order of the same emperor Costantine when he
decided to legalize Christianity.
Saint Peter's Basilica
Built on the place
where the saint was crucified, the magnificent Basilica is one
of the most famous churches in the world and the largest one. Many
famous artists have contributed to make this building one of the most
prestigious: Michelangelo, Bramante, Bernini. Its internal space is an
explosion of marble decorations with many of the most glamorous pieces
Among those the famous Piety, the masterpiece made by
Michelangelo and the superb Bernini's baldacchino, with its spiral
columns which embellish the papal altar.
Marvellous is also the Columnade made by Gianlorenzo
Bernini which is
in front of the Vatican Basilica and worth a
visit are also the Vatican Museums with the paintings gallery, containing
works made by Titian, Raphael, Caravaggio, Leonardo and many others.
The famous Sistine chapel and Raphael's room are undoubtedly
The Cathedral of Santa
Maria in Fiore in Florence
This wonderful edifice is well known all over the world for its huge
and marvellous dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.
beautiful bronze doors flanked by marble decorations, worth a visit is
Giotto's Campanile (bell tower) and the Baptistry.
The church of Santa
Maria Novella in Florence
This amazing church is very well known for the early
Reneissance works by Masaccio which painted a marvellous fresco
representing the Holy Trinity.
The interiors are decorated by different
famous artists like Ghirlandaio and Filippino Lippi.
Saint Luis of the
French in Rome
This opulent church is a masterpiece full of artworks
and canvases made by the most notorious artists.
Among the most exquisite artworks there is a cycle of
paintings by Caravaggio who created his first religious works for this
Noteworthy are also the
frescoes made by Domenichino and Cavalier d'Arpino and an altarpiece by
Ravishing is also
the ceiling painted by Charles Joseph Natoire.
Gesł Nuovo Church in Naples
This particular building, which was originally a villa, is a baroque
masterpiece which is richly decorated by canvases, frescoes and marble
statues created by the most famous artists like
Pietro Bernini and Cosimo Fanzago. The main altar is enriched by
decorations with precious stones. The ceiling is decorated by frescoes
made by the
most notorious artists like Luca Giordano, the
Guercino, Paolo De Matteis and Francesco Solimena. Solimena
created a very beautiful fresco above the entrance door while
noteworthy is a canvas made Juse de Ribera.
Saint Joseph's Church in Taormina
This single nave church with a dome
decorated by beautiful frescoes, is located in a wonderful position in
the centre of a square overlooking the sea. Its baroque style facade is
embellished by a double starecase with a balustrade made in the typical
Madonna della Rocca's
church in Taormina
This beautiful church is placed above Monte Tauro, some
20 minutes walk
from the centre of Taormina. It is famous for a shrine carved into the
rock, which gives the name to the church.
Saint Agatha in Catania
A beautiful example of the Sicilian Baroque
architecture, the Cathedral
has also got a few traces of the Norman building which survived a
tremendous hearthquake of the 16th century.
Saint Francis of Assisi
The churches dedicated to Saint
Francis, form a compound which was built on
the place where San Francesco decided to be buried. The two churches
differ in style but are among the most beautiful in the world.
architectural style and the decorations of the upper church are Gothic.
The internals are embellished by frescoes made by Giotto, Cimabue, and
Pietro Cavallini. The lower edifice is a bit more humble but it
is also embellished by beautiful stained glass. The church was frescoed by the
famous Cimabue, Pietro Cavallini and Simone
Martini and the great Giotto whose works are
still admired today by thousand and
thousand of tourist from all over the world.
The nearby Monastery
was also frescoed by Giotto and it hosts many artworks like tapestries,
canvases and rare and splendid miniature paintings like codexes.
Basilica in Naples
complex is a rare example of three different architectural styles,
from the Greek-Roman style to the marvellous Gothic style and the late
Baroque style. The church hosts a beautiful funerary tomb made by
Tino di Camaino. A marvellous Gothic ambulacre is still decorated with
remains of Gothic frescoes of Giotto's scholars. A few mosaics of the
5th century, belonging to the ancient church, are visible under the
floor. The nearby famous convent, which gave refugee to both Francesco
Petrarca and Giovanni Boccaccio, has been transformed into an
interesting museum, richly decorated by frescoes of the
San Giovanni a
Carbonara in Naples
A Gothic church which hosts one of the most interesting funerary
monuments in Naples: the Sepulchre of the Magnanimous king of Naples
Ladislao of the Durazzo family.
Among the other masterpieces which
embellish this marvellous church there are the Crucifixion by Giorgio
Vasari, a beautiful chapel decorated with frescoes dating back to the
Reneissance and the two renowned chapels belonging to the Vico family
and the Caracciolo del Sole family.
The first is decorated with Renaissance marble statues and relief and
it is is hosting the graves of the Vico
family, the second is decorated with marvellous Gothich frescoes and it
is hosting the Caracciolo family tombs.