The Church of San Salvatore in Bologna

Behind Piazza Maggiore in Bologna and just off the beaten path of the noisy city centre, the impressive church of San Salvatore rises up in the middle of an intricate maze of narrow lanes.

Tied to one of the city’s most important monasteries (that of the Rhenish Canons, founded in the 12th century), it escaped the impoverishment and demolition suffered by many parts of the monastic complex, some of the spaces of which now host the military property office. If you are curious or simply wish to visit the church and be immersed in its calming silence, you can pay homage to one of the leading artists in the history of painting in Bologna and indeed all of Italy. This is where you will find the tomb of Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (1591-1666), better known as Guercino, as well as that of his brother Paolo Antonio (1603-1649), with whom he shared his life and work, including when he left his hometown, Cento, to move his workshop to Bologna.

San Salvatore Bologna

Perhaps out of a desire for modesty and humility deriving from his role as a lay Capuchin friar (which we know about thanks to his will of 1665), the resting place of the two painters is marked solely by a simple gravestone inserted into the floor of the nave. It would also be worth taking a look at the Coronation of the Virgin by Vitale da Bologna, in the fourth chapel to the right of the transept, Tiarini’s Holy Family and Mastelletta’s Resurrection.

San Salvatore Bologna

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BolognaEmilia-RomagnaReligious architecture