San Pietro Apostolo Abbey

San Pietro Apostolo Abbey

The abbatial church as it stands today was consecrated in 1518 and the wonderful Cloister of the Columns was added in subsequent years. The wealth of art works from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries inside the church include six large terracotta sculptures depicting the Virgin Mary of Conception and various saints by Antonio Begarelli, together with his last work, the Apogeo Begarelliano in the ninth chapel, and the Pietà. The sixteenth- century organ by Giovanni Battista Facchetti is worthy of note, as is the particularly fine sacristy with frescos by Girolamo da Vignola. Adjacent to the church is the Monastic Dispensary and a small "acetaia" where Balsamic vinegar si produced.

In ancient times annexed to the Benedictine Abbey founded in 983, the church was reconstructed between 1476 and 1518.

The façade of the church, in terracotta, is crossed by an exquisite frieze, also in terracotta, composed of intertwined seascapes with winged satyrs realised around 1530.

The interior, divided into five naves, is rich in works made between 1400 and 1500 and is virtually an exhibition of the local artists of the time.

The six large terracotta statues leaning against the pillars of the central nave were sculpted by Begarelli and depict the Madonna of the Conception and the various saints.

Of particular importance is the ninth chapel in which the Apogee of Begarelli, the last work of the artist, is found, depicting the Madonna in Glory and the saints Peter, Paul, Geminiano and Benedict.

At the end of the right nave the Pietà can be admired.

Of particular value is the sacristy with the racks in splendid inlaid work carried out by Gianfrancesco da Cremona in 1548.

Opening hours

The church opens from Monday to Sunday, from 7.00 am to 12.00 pm and from 3.00 pm to 7.00 pm. Holy Masses: from Monday to Saturday at 6.20 am, 9.00 am and 6.30 pm; on Sunday and public holidays at 7.00 am, 9.30 am, 11.00 am and 6.30 pm.

Visits are not allowed during celebrations.

To know before you go

The Abbey museum, the sacristy and the old Sala Capitolare are visitable, by appointment contacting Luca Bergonzini The monastic dispensary (ph. 059-223032) opens on Monday afternoon from 3.30 pm to 7.00 pm, and from Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 12.00 pm and from 3.30 pm to 7.00 pm. It's closed on Monday morning and all Sunday long. Special Sunday openings, contacting Luca Bergonzini

Tickets and admission

Free entrance.