5+ BREATHTAKING Italian Churches You Cannot Miss

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Thousands of churches constructed over two millennia are part of Italy's rich architectural legacy. 5 of the more prominent ones are listed here.

Thousands of churches constructed over two millennia are part of Italy's rich architectural legacy. 5 of the more prominent ones are listed here.

Older versions of the descriptions of these churches initially appeared in Richard Cavendish's edited book 1001 Incredible Sites You Must Visit Before You Die (2016). The names of the authors are in parentheses.


  • Basilica Of San Vitale


San Vitale is part of yesteryear from Ravenna’s history, when it played a pivotal role in relations between East and West—Constantinople and Rome. The church is a blend of many cultural inputs, particularly in its stunning mosaics, which are generally acknowledged as the finest in the Western world.


  • Basilica of St. John


St. John Lateran (San Giovanni in Laterano), the earliest and oldest of Rome's major patriarchal basilicas, is on the site of the Laterani family residence, whose members served as administrators to successive emperors. It ended up in the hands of Emperor Constantine around 311. He then donated it to the church, which 313 convened a synod of bishops to condemn the Donatist movement as heretical. The basilica served as Rome's cathedral, the hub of Christian activity in the city, and the popes' home from that point on.


  • Basilica Of Holy Cross


The Franciscan and Dominican religious orders became fierce competitors in Florence in the thirteenth century as they both gained strength. The Dominicans were more logical and intellectual, whereas the Franciscans promoted a mystical, individual religion. The churches of each order represented their conflict.

The Basilica of the Holy Cross (Basilica di Santa Croce) was erected by Franciscans on the foundation of an earlier church, which some claim was started by St. Francis of Assisi. It is a huge structure that is organized into a variety of straightforward, enormous rectangular forms. The church's interior and exterior ornamentation was initially relatively understated, but it now features works of art by several well-known painters and sculptors, including Giotto and Donatello.


  • San Marco Basilica


According to legend, two traders by the names of Buono ("Good Man") of Malamocco and Rustico ("Rustic") of Torcello kidnapped St. Mark's body from Alexandria, Egypt, and brought it back to Venice in the early ninth century. They transferred the body to the doge, who was in charge of the Venetian government, rather than the head of the local church, thereby eternally tying St. Mark to the state. The holy relics were kept in a makeshift shrine inside the Doges' Palace until the doge ordered the building of a chapel to house them. A church was finished in 832, but during an uprising in 976, it was completely destroyed by fire. Later, it was reconstructed, serving as the structure for the current basilica.


  • Sant' Apollinare


One of Italy's most significant and well-preserved early Christian churches is the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe. It was built with money donated by the wealthy patron Julianus Argentarius at Bishop Ursicinus's request, and it was dedicated by Archbishop Maximian in 549. This church was built similarly to the church of San Vitale. Its construction occurred during a time when there were significant political changes in Europe, including the fall of the western part of the Roman Empire in 476, the Eastern emperor Justinian's conquest of Italy from the Goth occupying tribes between 535 and 552, and the Lombard invasion in 568. Ravenna was one of the major cities of the peninsula and its capital at the time.


  • Duomo Milan Tour


Duomo Milan cathedral, which took over 600 years to finish, is still Italy's largest Gothic cathedral and one of the biggest cathedrals to tour in Europe. It's one of my faves because of the breathtaking rooftop Duomo Milan Tour, where you can get a close-up glimpse of some of the cathedral's 3200 sculptures and 135 spires while also enjoying fantastic city views. The cathedral also features two enormous organs, numerous striking sarcophagi, and lovely stained glass windows. The rooftop and archaeological area can be visited for a fee, but general admission is free.

Ref: https://cariblime.net/read-blog/38335