Santo Stefano is the most unique complex in Bologna, as it is a true city sanctuary and the cradle of our ancestor’s faith. It is mainly known as “sette chiese” (“seven churches”) because it is the merger of multiple buildings erected in different eras.
The origins of the complex are controversial and disputed. According to the most accepted theory, it was built by Petronius on the ruins of a pre-existing pagan temple, flanked by a reproduction of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Next to the sacellum with the remains of Bologna protomartyrs Vitale and Agricola we find the buildings erected by the Benedectines between the 10th and 13th centuries.
The square is overlooked by the Church of the Crucifix of Lombard origin, the Church of the Calvario, the Church of Saint Vitale and Saint Agricola and the Church of the Trinity (Chiesa della Trinità) restructured between the 12th and 13th centuries. Inside, you can also admire the Courtyard of Pilate (Cortile di Pilato) with a marble basin donated by Liutprand and Hildeprand, Kings of the Lombards, and the Benedectine cloister with a dual loggia (10th-13th centuries), one of the most superb creations in the Aemilian Romanesque style. There is also a Museum displaying paintings, sculptures and other artworks from various eras.
Complex 9.30 am– 12.30pm and 2.30pm - 7.00pm* (from 1 November to 30 April, closing at 6.00pm)
Every Monday the complex will be closed, except for the Basilica opening from 5.30pm to 7.30pm
During the religious services, the tourist visit could be limited or suspended. Opening times can be subjected to little changes. For further information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +390514983423.
Timetable of religious services: Mon-Sat 8:30am, 6:30pm, Sun 8:30am, 12pm, 6:30pm