The Great Churches of Italy

Must See Cathedrals and Churches

No visit to Italy would be complete without stopping by some of the most beautiful cathedrals and churches in the world. Even if you're not religious, these architectural masterpieces demand your attention just due to their history and their majesty. Let's take a look at some of them and why you should include these stops in your tourist itinerary.

Your first stop should be in Monte Cassino at the Basilica Cathedral. Situated inside the Abbey of Monte Cassino located beween Rome and Naples, this historical place has seen the best and the worst of humanity over the centuries. The Abbey itself was founded in 529 AD by St. Benedict on the exact spot that used to be used by Greeks to worship the God Apollo. Over the years the Abbey itself has been destroyed and rebuilt no less than five times due to armed strife in the area, with the Basilica receiving damage over the years as well.

Abbey of Monte Cassino

The Basilica itself was consecrated in 1071 AD and has been rebuilt over the years, unfortunately at the loss of some of the historical frescos and canvas paintings on the walls due to damage too great to repair. But you can still see such wonders as "The Glory of St. Benedict" by P. Annigoni, taking up forty square feet and depicting St. Benedict and his followers. For trivia buffs there are also included three Popes in the foreground of this fresco - St. Gregory the Great, Pope Paul VI and St. Victor III. Why these three, you ask? Well, St. Gregory is known as the author of the first biography of St. Benedict.

Pope Paul VI not only declared St. Benedict to be the Patron Saint of Europe, but also reconsacrated the Basilica in 1964 after yet another major round of reconstructions, this from the ravages of World War II. And St. Victor III was also known as Abbot Desiderius, a major factor in the growth of Monte Cassino as a religious center in the 12th century.

The Abbey itself is still alive and thriving, allowing visitors to take a look inside the monastic life. Although certain areas have been restricted from the public, you can still enjoy the historical and spiritual aspects of this grand Cathedral and the surrounding area. But if you go please respect their privacy as you visit their home and their place of worship.

 

The Basilica of St. Francis is another wonderful visit into the past, situated in Assisi. Built in 1228, this Basilica sits on a hill that was originally called the "Hill of Hell" because it was used as a site to execute criminals. Of course, later on it became known as the "Hill of Heaven" when St. Francis' body was laid to rest on that site.

san fancis chrch assisi
Basilica S Francesco -Assisi

Construction started a mere two years after the death of St. Francis, uncommon at the time. But the enthusiasm of the people to create the masterpiece pushed them to complete the lower Church in just two years, an amazing feat for that era. This enabled them to bring the body of St. Francis from where it had been resting in the Church of St. George to a new and permanent home. There are three parts to the church - the Upper and Lower Basilica and the tomb of St. Francis itself, which is situated under the Lower Basilica. In 1997 there was an earthquake that damaged some parts of the Basilica, but repairs were able to be done quickly and efficiently and were finished within two years.

When you visit the Basilica you'll be enthralled with a variety of paintings that match any museum in the world. Inside the Lower Basilica you can see the famous "Madonna with Child" by Cimabue. Other works can be seen in the vault and sprinkled through the Upper Basilica as well, dating all the way back to 1277.

Giotto and his assistant painted twenty-eight frescos in the Upper Basilica, all taken from the life of St. Francis. His artwork is also found in the Lower Basilica along with other famous artists of that time period.

Public tours are available for groups or you can take a private one yourself, walking through the Basilica where so many others have tread. A small giftshop can provide a guidebook for you to thumb through while experiencing the vivid paintings and frescos, detailing the history of each and their place in the grand display around you.

For a final stop, why not visit the oldest church in Florence? San Lorenzo in Florence was consecrated by St. Amrose in 393 AD and remained much the same until the beginning of the 15th century when it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style that was so popular. The first thing you may notice when approaching this church is the bare facade - believe it or not, Michelango was supposed to paint these blank stones but the designs were never completed! Inside the church itself you can view many historical masterpieces, including such pieces as "The Wedding of the Virgin" by Fiorentino and "The Martyrdom of St. Lawrence" by Bronzino.

Attached to the Church itself is the Canons' Cloister and the Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana, added in the 15th century. The cloister offers a quiet place to sit and contemplate life with a beautiful garden while the Biblioteca is exactly what you think it is - a library of ancient texts. While you can't "check out" any of the manuscripts, it's a testament to the Renaissance that these ancient works were preserved for posterity.

There is much, much more that each of these Churches has to offer, but there's only so much space here! From beautiful frescos to historical reconstruction to ancient texts, these churches offer the visitor a plethora of visual and spiritual experiences like no other. No matter your religious affiliation, these stops will intrigue and thrill you as you travel around Italy.

By Sheryl Nantus

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Wednesday, May 25TH, 2011 by Guest

Visitors to Rome must add another church to their must-see list: The Church of St. Alphonsus Liguori on the Via Merulana between the two great basilicas, Mary Major and John Lateran. This gorgeous little church is too often overlooked! It is home to one of the great works of religious art: the original icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, which dates back to the 14th century.

Friday, December 30TH, 2011 by Guest

learn how LORD JESUS plays word association for one"s way - will ! thee two edged sharp  tongue are mind - heart ! PEARLS ! put the word spirit - soul befre thee proper word - pearl ! RULE # 2 harder one must find the natur - path of thr subject hence apply to our way - will !

Wednesday, April 04TH, 2012 by Guest

 Sponsor a Child Today
Releasing children from Poverty
Compassion in Jesus’ Name
 
Please Sponsor a Child Today
 
As you exchange letters, send photos and offer and encouragement in Jesus’ Name. Your love will bring hope to a child’s fragile spirit that will last a life time, Sponsor a child Today!
 
Introduction:
 
I George Raju Vara represents Logos Children’s Orphanage, as President and Correspondent, take the pleasure in presenting a brief report of the orphanage, located in Kakinada, EAst Godavary District, Andhra Pradesh, South India. This orphanage is started in 1996,  This organization has been registered in the A.P. Government and we received the registered Charity Number 1999/1123, kakinada. Ever since this ministry is running on hope and faith in the Lord and it has been successfully catering to the needs of the orphan children and in addition the widows. We Praise God for His marvelous and miraculous way. It is an amazing experience to serve the deprived children and destitute widows.
 
At present we have 75 orphan children out of which we have 39 boys and 36 girls. They are all lovely and wonderful children but they come from the lowest economical background and poorest status.
 
Hereunder, we are giving the details for your information and activation as it is we do not have regular sponsors for these children which makes us worried because the days are so bad that cost of living has become three times or four times increased in prices. In a crucial times where things have become dear we postrate before God pleading Him to provide us means for the children and widows. The Lord is so gracious in caring for these unfortunate beautiful children and the widows in the orphanage. Nevertheless, we need your prayers. Your prayers will work wonders in supplying the needs for our ministry I know, and confidently say dear brother and dear Sister, we want you to sponsor at least one or two children at your choice because it will cost you only  $40 per month for each child.
 

Monday, September 10TH, 2012 by Guest

Dear Pastor /President,

Greeting in the name of our precious
Lord Jesus. Hope & believe in God that you are doing well in your Ministry
for the kingdom
of God. I am
a little servent of God in Bangladesh.
I think you heard about our country Bangladesh. It is a small country
of south Asia but peopulation is high. Almost
1% people of my country are believer. Our church's pastors ,ministers always
trying to develop our church base activities but we coudn't do because of lack
of proper trainings. Our vission and goal to share the Gosple among the
nonbelievers and wining the souls and also develop
our church activities like sunday church servicess, Youth ministry, women
ministry, children ministry and others. My heart is always crying for my
society and churchess.

If I could attent any Leadership
Training, seminer or conference and develop myself, it would be good for
my church and society because I can help them developing ways.

So, I therefore request to
you cordially if you arrange any kind of Leadership development training
program, seminer or conference please infrom me and send invitation card sothat
I can attend there.

My borther in Christ, I belive and hope
our corrospondence will be continue by Airmail or email for the kingdom of God. Do you need any furder information
about me and my society or church please freely ask me by mail or e-mail any
time.

God bless you and your ministry.

Your Brother in Christ

Thanks
For Your Correspondents.

Provuthen
Baroi

Please
Answer to me E-Mail : provuthen@yahoo.com

Mobile : 01715302059

Suvastu
Development Limited

65 Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan-1

5th
Floor, Dhaka-1212,

Bangladesh.

Please send to Invitation
Letter at your Conference & Seminar

My E-mail No. : provuthen707@yahoo.com

Wednesday, September 12TH, 2012 by Guest

Dear Pastor /President,

Greeting in the name of our precious
Lord Jesus. Hope & believe in God that you are doing well in your Ministry
for the kingdom
of God. I am
a little servent of God in Bangladesh.
I think you heard about our country Bangladesh. It is a small country
of south Asia but peopulation is high. Almost
1% people of my country are believer. Our church's pastors ,ministers always
trying to develop our church base activities but we coudn't do because of lack
of proper trainings. Our vission and goal to share the Gosple among the
nonbelievers and wining the souls and also develop
our church activities like sunday church servicess, Youth ministry, women
ministry, children ministry and others. My heart is always crying for my
society and churchess.

If I could attent any Leadership
Training, seminer or conference and develop myself, it would be good for
my church and society because I can help them developing ways.

So, I therefore request to
you cordially if you arrange any kind of Leadership development training
program, seminer or conference please infrom me and send invitation card sothat
I can attend there.

My borther in Christ, I belive and hope
our corrospondence will be continue by Airmail or email for the kingdom of God. Do you need any furder information
about me and my society or church please freely ask me by mail or e-mail any
time.

God bless you and your ministry.

Your Brother in Christ

Thanks
For Your Correspondents.

Provuthen
Baroi

Please
Answer to me E-Mail : provuthen@yahoo.com

Mobile : 01715302059

Suvastu
Development Limited

65 Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan-1

5th
Floor, Dhaka-1212,

Bangladesh.

Please send to Invitation
Letter at your Conference & Seminar

My E-mail No. : provuthen707@yahoo.com

Tuesday, October 23TH, 2012 by Guest

Greetings to you all; in the name of God the Father, Son & the Holy Spirit. I want to use this medium to encourage all the ministers of the God that it is a good thing to serve the Lord.