Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Emilia–Romagna Sights

Santo Stefano

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

Updated 03/27/2015

Fodor's Review

This splendid and unusual basilica contains between four and seven connected churches (authorities differ). A 4th-century temple dedicated to Isis originally occupied this site, but much of what you see was erected between the 10th and 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. Despite the fact that the basin was probably crafted around the 8th century, legend has it that Pontius Pilate washed his hands in it after condemning Christ. Also in the building are a museum displaying various medieval religious works and its shop, which sells honey, shampoos, and jams made by the monks.

Sight Information


Via Santo Stefano 24, Piazza Santo Stefano, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, 40125, Italy

Map It



Sight Details:

  • Daily 9–noon and 3:30–6

Updated 03/27/2015


Map View

Map of

What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in Emilia–Romagna

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss



No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.