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EmiliaRomagna Sights

Santo Stefano

  • Via Santo Stefano 24 Map It
  • University area
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 04/11/2014

Fodor's Review

This splendid and unusual basilica actually contains between four and seven connected churches (authorities differ). A 4th-century temple dedicated to Isis was originally on this site, though much of what you see dates from the 10th through the 12th centuries. The oldest existing building is Santi Vitale e Agricola, parts of which date from the 5th century. The exquisite beehive-shape San Sepolcro contains a Nativity scene much loved by Bologna's children, who come

at Christmastime to pay their respects to the Christ Child. Just outside the church, which probably dates from the 5th century with later alterations, is the Cortile di Pilato (Pilate's Courtyard), named for the basin in the center. It's said that Pontius Pilate washed his hands in this basin after condemning Christ—despite the fact that it was probably crafted around the 8th century. Also in the building is a museum displaying various medieval religious works with a shop selling honey, shampoos, and jams made by the monks.

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Sight Information


Via Santo Stefano 24, Piazza Santo Stefano, Bologna, 40125, Italy

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Sight Details:

  • Daily 9–noon and 3:30–6

Updated 04/11/2014


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