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12 of the Most Stunning Churches in Italy

Italy has over 64,000 churches. Here are 12 of the best.

Whether you’re religious or not, you have to admit the architecture of churches is stunning. Especially when you consider some were built hundreds of years ago. In Italy, there are approximately 64,000 churches. Here are 12 of the best. 

1. Florence Cathedral, Florence

Construction on the Florence Cathedral began in 1296 and was completed 140 years later. Donatello designed some of the stained glass windows during the 1400s.

2. Basilica di San Marco, Venice 

Originally constructed in 829, the Basilica was originally created to honor the remains of St. Mark. The Basilica later became the doge’s chapel until it was turned into a cathedral in 1807.

3. Abbey of San Galgano, Siena

The Abbey fell into disuse during the 14th century before restoration efforts began in the 20th century. It has since become a popular destination for tourists and even the occasional wedding.

4. Pisa Cathedral, Pisa

Built in 1064, The Pisa Cathedral was built using the spoils of war from fighting the Muslims in Sicily that same year. The construction of the Leaning Tower, the church’s bell tower, was started in 1173.

5. San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice

San Giorgio Maggiore was built on an island just outside of Venice in in the late 16th century. In 1223, an earthquake destroyed the original structure and the rebuilding process was completed in 1610.

6. Basilica di Santa Croce, Lecce

The Basilica di Santa Croce is the final resting place for Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. It has also been known as the Temple of Italian Glories.

7. Santa Maria Assunta, Siena

The Santa Maria Assunta was built in 1215 and completed in 1263. The North, West, South, and East exterior points of the church all have their own specific designs.

8. The Duomo of Milan, Milan

The Duomo of Milan took almost six centuries to complete and it is the largest church in the country.

9. Orvieto Cathedral, Orvieto 

Built in the 14th-century, the structure was built to celebrate the Corporal of Bolsena, a sacred event when a consecrated host began to bleed.

10. St Peter’s Basilica, Rome

One of the most well-known attractions in Vatican City, The Basilica is supposedly the burial site for St. Peter, one of the twelve apostles.

11. Ferrara Cathedral, Ferrara

Located in the city center, the Ferrara Cathedral was built in the 12th-century when the city began to expand. The church is dedicated to St. George, the patron saint of the city.

12. Basilica di Superga, Turin

This church was built to fulfill the vow the Duke of Savoy had made during the Battle of Turin where they defeated the invading French forces.

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