- Art & Culture
- Religious Tourism
San Benedetto Po
An oasis of art and culture in the Po Valley near the Po: this is San Benedetto Po with a thousand year old monastery and the countryside.
Piazza Matilde di Canossa, 7, San Benedetto Po (MN)
The noises of productive life are lost in the silence of the countryside in San Benedetto Po (MN), with the landscape dotted with oratories, abbeys, parish churches and agricultural courts, where the monks’ precious work is still visible.
The history of the village merges with that of the Benedictine monastery of Polirone, founded in 1007 by the Da Canossa family: here is the tomb of Matilde di Canossa in an alabaster sarcophagus. The original name derives from the Po and Lirone rivers that once surrounded the place. The abbey was an active intellectual centre that promoted theological studies and artistic culture: it hosted famous personalities such as Martin Luther, Paul III, Vasari, Torquato Tasso and Palladio and here worked Correggio and Giulio Romano.
You enter the village from the ancient entrance of the monastery and you are in the majestic square that has remained intact since the Middle Ages. The basilica welcomes us with its grandeur and the marvellous architecture designed by the genius Giulio Romano who without demolishing them rebuild the old Romanesque and Gothic structures and brought together the different architectural styles. History, art and life coexist in monastic environments: in the cloister of the Seculars, for example, pilgrims and strangers were welcomed, while in the cloister of San Simeone in the late Gothic style, there was a garden with medicinal herbs. Everything developed between the anger and the mocking of the peasants, obliged to contribute to the livelihood; after all it is thanks to the industriousness of the monks who have reclaimed the territory that the most flourishing agriculture of Italy was created here.
Leaving the monastery, you immediately feel the proximity of the Po, which flows slowly and mighty. The park of the floodplains, the pumps, the banks, the rows of poplars, the churches ... In this suburban area there are splendid landscapes!
BORGHI PIÙ BELLI D’ITALIA #INLOMBARDIA