Welcome is Bologna

Complesso di San Michele in Bosco

St. Michael in the Woods complex

Via Pupilli, 1 - 40136 Bologna (BO)

Phone +39 051 6366705 (info generali) - +39 051 6366315 (biblioteca)

Reference maps: N-10

Date of last update: 09/07/2018, 11:54

The Church of San Michele in Bosco is an impressive architectural complex comprising both the church and nearby convent once belonging to the Olivetans, one of the largest and most picturesque in Italy. It stands in one of the most scenic spots of the surrounding hills of Bologna and its churchyard offers a wonderful view of the city and the plain to the Alps.

Of remote origin, the church underwent many changes: it was rebuilt during the Middle Ages, reshaped during the 15th century and then renovated by the Olivetans (who moved here for the first time in 1364) between 1517 and 1523. The complex, throughout the centuries, served different purposes: during the Napoleonic era it was used first as military barrack and then as prison. It later became the villa for the Papal Legate and later still residence of the King of Italy. Moreover, just before the end of the 19th century, the complex became the headquarters of the Rizzoli Hospital, where the most important orthopedists of the Institute Rizzoli are buried to the very day.

The harmonious Renaissance façade was designed by the architect Biagio Rossetti from Ferrara while the fine marble entrance was constructed by Baldassarre Peruzzi from Siena (1522). The elegant two-floor building (one floor to the faithful, the other to the monks) is enriched with precious paintings and sculptures dating back to the 16th and 17th century. In the building the sacristy and the choir, surrounded by magnificent frescoes of the 16th century, can be seen, along with the evocative octagonal cloister of the 16th century, enriched with the famous paintings by the Carracci family, which have partly been lost. In the presbytery, the door on the right leads to the long corridor of the ancient monastery, known as the “Cannocchiale di Bologna” (the telescope of Bologna), because, thanks to an illusionistic effect, you can almost touch the Asinelli tower.

Source: Curia Arcivescovile and Le Chiese di Bologna (L'Inchiostroblu)

by bus: lines and timetables on the website www.tper.it


by car: ring road exits n. 1-2 direction city center.

by car sharing: you can reach your destination by yourself with Auting, a peer to peer car sharing service. Let’s search for the car that best suits your needs on auting.it  get in touch with the owner and let’s start your trip!

Church: every day 8 am - 12 pm and 4 - 6 pm. During the religious services, the tourist visit could be limited or suspended. (Tours to the historical complex by appointment: tel +39 051 6366705 after 4,30 pm or mail to: angelorambaldi.campanile@gmail.com).
Umberto I Library
: Monday: 10 am - 5.30pm; from Tuesday to Thursday: 10 am - 2.30 pm; Friday: 10 - 1.30 pm; Saturday: 9 am - 1 pm (only the first and fourth Saturday of the month); closed Saturdays in Summer. Holiday closing: August and Christmastime. For groups, please send email to biblioteca@ior.it - to Dr Tomba - Dr Vigano’

Putti study > visited only by appointment requested by email to biblioteca@ior.it to Dr Tomba - Dr Vigano’.
Admission min. 5 people, max. 15
Historical/artistic contacts: Dr Patrizia Tomba and Dr Anna Vigano’ Tel. 051/6366315 -  051/6366192

Complesso di San Michele in Bosco