Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita
4.5
Religious SitesChurches & Cathedrals
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Santo Stefano
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • scvrose
    Fiddletown, California1,058 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must see
    Not a large church, but the artwork and sculptures are amazing. Make sure you pay to see the upper floor and the statues near the front. Amazing works, so lifelike. We just stopped and stared. You must see The Lamentation.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 3 July 2023
  • JJJC_Family
    776 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We only went here because it was close to where we had dinner. Glad we did.
    From the outside, this church does not look like much. Get inside and it’s much. It’s an impressive, attractive and tasteful interior. And if you go upstairs you will find a collection of fairly bizarre statues that nonetheless are extremely intriguing and represent great talent. I can’t lie to you that I did not spend a considerable amount of tome looking at it. I did. What makes this church so different than almost all others I have seen is the juxtaposition of a pretty conservative, traditional, even restrained appearance for the main part of the church and even the room that the statues occupy and with this truly jarring, avant-garde exhibition in the same church. Strangely, I respected that decision to combine the two. Somehow, it worked on a spiritual and artistic level. It’s not new and apparently it is famous. I think you owe to yourself to check it out.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 July 2023
  • macedonboy
    Glasgow, United Kingdom185,732 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful Baroque and Rococo Style Church
    The Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita is a Baroque and Rococo style church in the historic centre of Bologna. A church has been here since the 13th century, although the current church was only built in the 17/18th century. The church has an elliptical plan, topped with an elliptical dome. The interior is very compact with chapels surrounding the nave in close proximity. Each chapel is designed with a Baroque painting as its centrepiece, but mainly with rococo style mouldings. The one exception is the Chapel of St. Rita (I think), which has a sculpture of Madonna with Child as well as a recently installed memorial to another nun. One of the chapels I think has the Tomb of Bonaparte Ghislieri, a senator of Bologna who also commissioned the Hours of Bonaparte Ghislieri. The high altar is again Baroque, but without any hint of Rococo. The centrepiece of the high altar is Byzantine art inspired painting of Madonna with Child, crowned with a physical silver crown. The pièce de résistance of the church is the clay sculptures of the Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Niccolò dell'Arca. Visits to this requires an entrance fee, but is totally worth it.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 21 July 2023
  • daveumich
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Small, but Beautiful Church
    The church is not terribly large, but it is beautiful. It appears that tickets are necessary for only the fascinating sculpture to the right side of the main altar and for the oratorio. The oratorio is open until 6:30pm (18.30), but the last admission is at 6:00pm (18.00).
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 November 2023
  • ArtsyGalBaltimore
    847 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Lamentation of Christ at Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita, Bologna
    Visited the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita in order to see the human drama portrayed in Niccolo dell'Arca's Lamentation of Christ, which is on the side altar. To do so you must buy a 9 Euro ticket, which provides discount at other participating Bologna museums. Up a flight of stairs, one also finds the death of the Virgin Mary with 15 terraccota statues.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 April 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,373 reviews
Excellent
959
Very good
337
Average
58
Poor
7
Terrible
12

Vadim
Murmansk, Russia33,932 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Solo
This church is a stone's throw from San Petronio. Built in 1687-1690, it has an unusual elliptical shape. The dome of the church was erected only a century later, and the facade was completed only by 1905. The main thing that is watched in the church is Niccolo del Arca's masterpiece "Mourning for Christ". Which, unfortunately, I didn`t see...
Written 13 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ArtsyGalBaltimore
Maryland847 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Visited the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita in order to see the human drama portrayed in Niccolo dell'Arca's Lamentation of Christ, which is on the side altar. To do so you must buy a 9 Euro ticket, which provides discount at other participating Bologna museums. Up a flight of stairs, one also finds the death of the Virgin Mary with 15 terraccota statues.
Written 8 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brad
Hong Kong, China173,427 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
There are a fair number of churches scattered around Bologna worth a brief visit including the Church of Santa Maria della Vita located along Via Clavature a couple minutes walk east of Piazza Maggiore. While church history dates back to the 13th-century, what you find today is an High Baroque style church that was constructed by G.B. Bergonzoni in the late 17th-century.

You will see a tall narrow facade with two statues over the entryway into the church. The interior features an oval shaped nave with embedded side chapels hosting beautiful altarpieces, above is a 52-meter tall dome added in the late 18th-century, making the church one of the tallest buildings in the city to this day.

Note that will the main nave of the church can be visited for free. There is a separate section which requires ticket purchase to visit. This is where you can view the famous sculptural series known as the Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Niccola dell'Arca.
Written 26 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

daveumich
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
The church is not terribly large, but it is beautiful. It appears that tickets are necessary for only the fascinating sculpture to the right side of the main altar and for the oratorio. The oratorio is open until 6:30pm (18.30), but the last admission is at 6:00pm (18.00).
Written 20 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jason S
Melbourne, Australia2,054 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Solo
Really enjoyed this church probably one of the smaller churches in Bologna but maybe has the best art work and statues.

Located near Piazza maggoire so easy to add to your schedule while visiting the city.
Written 14 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

macedonboy
Glasgow, UK185,732 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
The Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita is a Baroque and Rococo style church in the historic centre of Bologna. A church has been here since the 13th century, although the current church was only built in the 17/18th century. The church has an elliptical plan, topped with an elliptical dome. The interior is very compact with chapels surrounding the nave in close proximity. Each chapel is designed with a Baroque painting as its centrepiece, but mainly with rococo style mouldings. The one exception is the Chapel of St. Rita (I think), which has a sculpture of Madonna with Child as well as a recently installed memorial to another nun. One of the chapels I think has the Tomb of Bonaparte Ghislieri, a senator of Bologna who also commissioned the Hours of Bonaparte Ghislieri. The high altar is again Baroque, but without any hint of Rococo. The centrepiece of the high altar is Byzantine art inspired painting of Madonna with Child, crowned with a physical silver crown.

The pièce de résistance of the church is the clay sculptures of the Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Niccolò dell'Arca. Visits to this requires an entrance fee, but is totally worth it.
Written 21 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JJJC_Family
Virginia776 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
From the outside, this church does not look like much. Get inside and it’s much. It’s an impressive, attractive and tasteful interior. And if you go upstairs you will find a collection of fairly bizarre statues that nonetheless are extremely intriguing and represent great talent. I can’t lie to you that I did not spend a considerable amount of tome looking at it. I did. What makes this church so different than almost all others I have seen is the juxtaposition of a pretty conservative, traditional, even restrained appearance for the main part of the church and even the room that the statues occupy and with this truly jarring, avant-garde exhibition in the same church. Strangely, I respected that decision to combine the two. Somehow, it worked on a spiritual and artistic level. It’s not new and apparently it is famous. I think you owe to yourself to check it out.
Written 17 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

scvrose
Fiddletown, CA1,058 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Family
Not a large church, but the artwork and sculptures are amazing. Make sure you pay to see the upper floor and the statues near the front. Amazing works, so lifelike. We just stopped and stared. You must see The Lamentation.
Written 3 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

stanmansurrey
Thames Ditton, UK3,472 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
this church was built in the late 13th Century by the Flagellati who were involved in charities so had a hospital unit since 1287. The Baroque church has some notable features but so many churches in Italy do. The most notable is the terracotta sculptues by Niccolo dell'Arca - il Compianto del Cristo ( Lamentation over the Dead Christ) depicting 6 figures including the Madonna, St John the Evangelist, Mary Magdalene, Nicodemus, Mary Salome, Mary of Cleophus lamenting over the body of Jesus Christ. These were finished in 1490 and are extraordinarily detailed life-sized figures. 5€ seems a bit excessive just to see this display, the church itself is free. However, I was aware of this in a project I did on Bologna 6 years ago so it had to be done.
Strangely, there is a similar Compianto piece in the Cattedrale di San Pietro, round the corner in via Independenze, by Lombardi completed about 30 years later. Free to see in a chapel in the main body of the church ( with an additional Joseph of Arithamea ).
Written 25 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Holly C
San Francisco, CA339 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Solo
Nice baroque church but nothing special
If you have seen a lot of Italian churches. The main attraction is the group of life size terracotta sculptures showing Christ removed from the cross and several lamenting figures. They are pretty amazing, showing very dramatic, pained expressions but the €5 fee to see them seemed a bit excessive. I am not sure I’d go out of my way for them. ( By the way, there is a very similar group in the large church of San Petronio way in the back right of the altar although smaller and less dramatic but one can see this was a type of representation done by other artists )
Written 8 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita, Bologna

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