The Basilica
and the chapels

Built between 1390 and 1663, the Basilica of San Petronio is one of the most majestic and important examples of an Italian Gothic cathedral. Despite its large scale (132 metres long, 60 metres wide and 44 metres high), the Basilica has a harmonious, balanced look that tones down the sometimes exaggerated verticality of the Gothic style, interpreting it in a completely original way.

Built between 1390 and 1663, the Basilica of San Petronio is one of the most majestic and important examples of an Italian Gothic cathedral.

Despite its large scale (132 metres long, 60 metres wide and 44 metres high), the Basilica has a harmonious, balanced look that tones down the sometimes exaggerated verticality of the Gothic style, interpreting it in
a completely original way.

Built between 1390 and 1663, the Basilica of San Petronio is one of the most majestic and important examples of an Italian Gothic cathedral.
Despite its large scale (132 metres long, 60 metres wide and 44 metres high), the Basilica has a harmonious, balanced look that tones down the sometimes exaggerated verticality of the Gothic style, interpreting it in
a completely original way.

The 22 side chapels of the Basilica of San Petronio

Visit the chapels

formerly Santa Maria de’ Rustigani

Chapel of Madonna della Pace

This chapel was once dedicated to Santa Maria de’ Rustigani. It houses a sculpture of Our Lady of Peace (1394) carved in Istrian stone by the German sculptor Giovanni Ferabech.

formerly Pepoli

Chapel of Santa Brigida

The main work in this space is the exquisite polyptych (1477) painted on wood by Tommaso Garelli.
The votive paintings on the chapel’s side walls are also very interesting.

formely Marsili

Chapel of Sant’Ambrogio

The fresco polyptych above the altar (c. 1474) is attributed to Jacopo di Cristoforo Moretti. It depicts Saint Ambrose in the centre and two military saints (possibly Proculus and Florian) at his sides.

formerly of the Società dei Notai, today Rinaldi

Chapel of Santa Croce

There is a crucifix painted on a moulded panel on the altar, created by Ercole Banci in the early 16th century.
The chapel’s stained-glass window was created between 1464 and 1466 by the Dominican friar Jacob Griesinger (James of Ulm).

formerly Garganelli, then Ratta, then of the Fabbrica

Chapel of San Lorenzo

The chapel was renovated in 1908: the large window was reopened and a bust of St Laurence by Giuseppe Romagnoli, along with a painting of the Pietà (1519) by Amico Aspertini, were placed above the altar.

formerly Castelli

Chapel of San Girolamo

The altar features a gilded wooden altarpiece from the first half of the 16th century. The panel, depicting Saint Jerome in his chair (1484) surrounded by almost metaphysical architecture, is a work by Lorenzo Costa.

formerly Fantuzzi, then of the Fabbrica

Chapel of Immacolata

The decoration of the Chapel of Immacolata is completely modern (1908-1951). The design was conceived by the painter Achille Casanova based on the oldest statue of the Immaculate Madonna (1725).

formerly Ramazzotti, then Malvezzi Campeggi

Chapel of Santissimo Sacramento

The inlaid stalls set against the side walls, executed between 1513 and 1521 by the monk Raffaele da Brescia, are particularly noteworthy.

formerly Saraceni, then Cospi

Chapel of Sant’Antonio
da Padova

The chapel preserves, uniform and still intact, the decorative apparatus created between 1524 and 1526 by the painter and sculptor Girolamo da Treviso.
The artist created both the statue of Saint Anthony above the altar and the series of oil paintings on the wall depicting the saint’s miracles.

There is also an exquisite monumental stained-glass window executed in two different periods. Initially, around 1518, the rose window with Saint Anthony, the two eyes with the Annunciation and the four ornaments in the ogives were made, based on designs by Pietro Vannucci known as ‘Perugino’.
In the second half of the 16th century, the eight saints were added, following a design by Pellegrino Tibaldi.

formerly of the Società dei Macellai

Chapel of San Pietro Martire

The splendid altarpiece portrays the Madonna and Child in Glory between Saints Petronius and Dominic. The martyrdom of Saint Peter is depicted in the background. The work was painted by Bartolomeo Passarotti around 1580.

formerly Zambeccari

Chapel of Reliquie

Once a sacristy, this space was converted into a chapel for the Zambeccari family in 1746.
On the altar, a niche contains a large number of relics in carved and gilded wooden reliquaries, mostly dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

owned by the Fabbriceria

Chapel of San Bernardino

The chapel is fronted by a transenna made in 1909 based on a design by Achille Casanova. In the same year, the 18th-century altarpiece and the wooden statue of Saint Bernardino (unknown artist from the 15th century) were placed here.

formerly of the Sedici Riformatori, then of the Senato di Bologna, then of the Municipio

Chapel of Santa Barbara

The large altarpiece depicting the glorification of St Barbara and the punishment of her murderous father (c. 1606) is by Alessandro Tiarini.

formerly Barbazzi, then Manzoli, finally Zucchini

Chapel of San Michele Arcangelo

The Archangel Michael driving out the devil painted on canvas is dated 1582 and signed by Denys Calvaert, or Dionisio Fiammingo, a painter of Flemish origin but Bolognese by adoption.

formerly Ranuzzi, then Malvezzi

Chapel of San Rocco

The altarpiece depicts Saint Roch with the dog and the patron (possibly Fabrizio da Milano). The canvas was painted in 1527 by Francesco Mazzola, known as il ‘Parmigianino’.

formerly Rossi, then Baciocchi

Chapel of San Giacomo

A beautiful panel painting by Lorenzo Costa, dated 1492, depicting the enthroned Madonna and Child with Saints James, Jerome, Sebastian and George, gleams above the altar.

formerly Griffoni, then Cospi, finally Ranuzzi

Chapel of San Vincenzo Ferrer

Vittorio Bigari painted the large tempera on canvas depicting Saint Vincent Ferrer, framed by Stefano Orlandi’s monumental ornamentation, made between 1725 and 1729.

The Madonna and Child in Glory above the altar is attributed to Ippolito Scarsella, known as ‘Scarsellino’ (lived between 1551 and 1620).

The transenna was built in 1896 reusing the terracotta colonnettes that stood from 1475 to 1880 between the columns of the Calvary Church in the Santo Stefano basilica complex.

formerly Vaselli, then Bevilacqua

Chapel of San Sebastiano

The decoration of this chapel, in a uniform Renaissance style, was carried out between 1487 and 1497 at the behest of Canon Donato Vaselli.
The large canvas depicting the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian appears above the altar.

formerly Santa Brigida, owned by the Foscarari, then by the Fabbriceria

Chapel of Sant’Ivo

The chapel is an example of understated, luminous late Baroque.
On the right wall, a piece of an older decoration (1438-1440) by Pietro di Giovanni Lianori was rediscovered in 1934.

formerly Bolognini, then Salina Amorini

Chapel of Re Magi

The Chapel of Re Magi is particularly fascinating because it is the only chapel in the Basilica that retains the rich and complex original decoration created in the early days of the church’s construction, i.e. in the early 15th century.

The red Verona marble transenna, bearing the Bolognini coat of arms, was made around 1400 based on a design by Antonio di Vincenzo.

Jacopo di Paolo painted the monumental wooden polyptych carved by an unknown artist (possibly Tommasino da Baiso), known as the ‘master of San Petronio’.
Di Paolo illustrated the stories of the Magi on the predella, while the corner pillars depict saints and prophets.

Jacopo di Paolo also designed the large polychrome stained-glass windows in the chapel (1404-1406). The rose window displays Christ in Glory, while the two minor eyes portray the Annunciation. The apostles and the four evangelists are portrayed below.

formerly Cospi, then Aldrovandi

Chapel of San Petronio

This chapel is an excellent example of Bolognese Baroque architecture.
It is best known for enshrining the head and body of Saint Petronius.

The saint’s head is preserved in a monumental reliquary donated by Pope Benedict XIV. The reliquary, made of partially gilded silver and lapis lazuli, is enclosed in the gilded bronze ‘glory’ above the altar. Both the reliquary and the glory were made by Roman silversmith and sculptor Francesco Giardoni.

formerly of the Dieci di Balìa, then of the Provincia

Chapel of Sant’Abbondio

According to popular belief, the first Holy Mass was celebrated in this chapel, on 4 October 1392, while the Basilica was still under construction.

A second legend concerns Charles V of Habsburg, who is said to have been crowned Holy Roman Emperor here by Pope Clement VII on 24 February 1530.

On the chapel’s side walls, you can admire the symbolic frescoes (1420) by Giovanni da Modena.

You can request visual material related to the Basilica of San Petronio.
To submit your request, download and fill in the form and send it by e-mail to archivio.storico@basilicadisanpetronio.org