Bologna celebrates sacred places…
Going along Via Garibaldi, we get back to Piazza Cavour and turning right we are in Via Farini; we walk along Via Farini until we get to PIAZZA MINGHETTI, where there is the statue of the famous Bolognese statesman (1818-1886); we go along till when on the right we find a little slope leading to Chiesa di San Giovanni in Monte.
An ancient building whose origins date back to the V century, enlarged from the XIII century and completed in the XV century. The façade was planned in 1474, but the pronao, that keeps the symbolic “giannea” eagle dates back to the XVI century by Nicolò Dell’Arca. The church is rich of Guercino’s, Costa’s, Giovanni da Modena’s works of art and in the various chapels there is a collection of graves commemorating noblemen, politicians of great artistic value.
Going back along the slope towards Via Farini and crossing the street we find Piazza Santo Stefano with the Basilica of Santo Stefano that, together with San Giovanni in Monte, is part of the pilgrimage of the holy shrines celebrated by the Bishop Petronio (V century) in Bologna. The Basilica is situated in Vicolo Gerusalemme (Jerusalem Alley) and in ancient times it was called Sancta Jerusalem, while San Giovanni in Monte celebrated the temple of Jesus’s abstension on the Mount of Olive trees. Now the Basilica is known as the CHIESA DELLE SETTE CHIESE because from the initial (nucleo) other buildings have been added during the centuries, precisely seven, even if today there are only four of them, completely restored. We enter through the main one, called of the Crucifix that keeps some parts of the Romanesque period (some parts of the front, the aisles and the crypt); from here we go to the second one, called of the Calvary, in which we find the central small temple where Saint Petronio’s corpse is buried; then we enter the third one The Church of Saint Vitale and Agricola, the first Christian martyrs from Bologna; the reconstruction we have today dates back to XI century; now we get back to the Calvary and we go out from Pilato’s Courtyard, where under the portico on the right there is the Chapel Vezza, while from the opposite portico there is the entrance of the Chapel of S. Giustina. At the bottom of the courtyard there is the Church of the Trinity, restored at the beginning of the century; attached to the Basilica there is also a cloister that is one of the most outstanding of Emilian Romanesque, where you can find a small Museum with some very valuable works.