Monteveglio: the Abbey and the ancient villages

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Monteveglio (perhaps, originally Montebelllo or "Mons belli", mount of war) entered the history of Europe when at its gates the emperor Henry IV, who wanted to avenge the humiliation suffered in Canossa, stopped once again.

Located in the municipality of Valsamoggia, Matildic place par excellence, this town still enchants visitors with its well-preserved fortified village, the magnificence of the Abbey and a natural setting of great charm enhanced by the paths that cross the Regional Park of which it is the fulcrum.

The itinerary proposed here is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the medieval atmosphere of the place and admire the landscape, embellished by picturesque badlands.

  • Length
    24 hours
  • Interests
    Art & Culture
  • Target
  • First stop - Monteveglio, medieval village Valsamoggia

    The charming fortified village of Monteveglio sits together with the ancient Abbey of Santa Maria Assunta, on the top of a hill overlooking the valley.

    The origins of the Castle date back to the year 1000 and of the original fortification remains the arched door, from which you can still access the village, above which you can see the lifting loops of the drawbridge and the walkway that overlooks a short stretch of the walls, and a massive castle tower, both surmounted by dovetail battlements.

    Adjacent to the tower is the ancient House of San Benedetto, for centuries home to the oratory and the brotherhood of Santa Maria delle Rondini.

    On the left, however, you can see the bell tower, of seventeenth-century appearance, which had the function of calling together the citizens for the town meetings.

    Also worth seeing is the oratory of Saints Rocco and Sebastiano, a small religious building erected by the inhabitants during the plague epidemic of 1631 and restored at the end of the nineteenth century, and the nearby ancient town hall.

  • Second stop - Church and Abbey of Santa Maria Assunta Valsamoggia

    Proceeding further on the cobblestone, between the ancient stone houses, you get to the church and abbey complex. The first, built in 1092 in Romanesque style on a more ancient sacred building, has a bell tower of the fifteenth century. Inside there are the apse and the crypt of the tenth century. 

    Attached to the church there are two cloisters: one fifteenth-century, double loggia, the other older (of which only one arm remains) overlooking the plain in a panoramic position.

    Of note is the beautiful wooden crucifix placed above the high altar, dating back to the 1400s and recently restored, as well as the organ of the 1600s, placed to the right of the altar.

    The large monastic building, in Romanesque style, was founded by Matilde of Canossa in the eleventh century to thank the citizenship of Monteveglio who had faced and stopped the imperial army.

    The church and the abbey of Monteveglio were restored in the last century by the architect Giuseppe Rivani. The works, which lasted from 1925 to 1934, have affected the entire monumental complex, removing fake structures from it and revealing the original architecture.

  • Third stop - Oliveto Valsamoggia

    Returning to the village a short distance from the center you will find the ancient and charming village of Oliveto that stands on a hill in a panoramic position with sweeping views of the valley of Samoggia.

    Some ancient monuments have remained in Oliveto: remains of the 11th century castle, the oratory of Santa Maria delle Grazie, already existing in the year 1000 and recently restored, and the bell tower attached to the ancient parish church of San Paolo, without a facade, with the side entrance, whose presence is reported from the year 1033 and which houses an altarpiece attributed to the seventeenth-century painter from Bologna Elisabetta Sirani.

    Also noteworthy is an interesting medieval building called the Ca' Grande dell'Ebreo built at the beginning of 1400 which was the headquarters of the Jewish community and the first bank of the whole area and the Bronzina, a building dating back to the last medieval period that housed the Hotel Dei Grandi di Spagna and was also a lazaretto (hospital for leprosy patients) and, finally, a bronze foundry.

Last update 12/07/2023

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