Wednesday, 14 March 2012 13:20

San Donato in Polenta

Written by  matta
Rate this item
(0 votes)


The church of San Donato in Polenta takes its name from the town where it is located. The little suburb in the Apennines preserves this church, recognized as a national monument for its artistic importance, but also thanks to the praise bestowed on it by Giosuè Carducci in the ode, “La chiesa di Polenta.” The poem recounts the cordiality with which Dante was welcomed by the inhabitants of Bertinoro, in particular by the Polenta family. Francesca da Rimini was the daughter of Guido da Polenta, a prominent member of the parish.
The first record of the church is July 24, 911. Some important modifications to the building occurred in 1705. The crypt, apse and roofing were demolished and readapted in a new spatial articulation, consonant with the taste of the 18th century. In 1890, a restoration campaign stirred up major problems, with only capitals and a few other elements remaining from the original building. In 1898, the bell tower was reconstructed. Thus, little remains of the original structure.

The church is built in alternating brick and stone. It is three-aisled with three cylindrical apses, and a raised choir, accessible via a stair located in the center of the nave. The vaulted crypt below rests on four central columns. The nave arcade is defined by set-back arches on cylindrical piers, with chamfered cube capitals. The ascendance of Lombard and Byzantine cultures was probably maintained in the Romanesque lexicon, and thus the bas-relief decoration of the capitals is particularly significant as a fundamental component of the building. These decoration are characterized by zoomorphic, phytomorphic and geometric representations, though the persistence of these styles in local decorative culture makes their dating problematic.


Additional Info

  • Address: Via Polenta, 477, Bertinoro
  • Province:
  • Phone: +39 0543/445300
  • Opening Days and Time:

    Tutti i giorni, compresi i festivi.
    Telefono ufficio UIT Bertinoro +39 0543 469213
    Fax +39 0543 444588
  • Guided Tour: Per visite guidate contattare l'associazione Rabisch (Tel: +39 338 6357868 - Si offrono visite per gruppi di studenti, adulti e disabili. Guide disponibili in lingue straniere.
  • Recommended Restaurants: