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Basilica of San Michele Maggiore


This is a Romanesque church and the oldest part was built in the 7th century. In 1155 construction work began on the present day basilica which was built on the original church. The facade is decorated with lesenes, arches and windows and was restored in 1963-67. The interior has a nave and two side aisles with women’s galleries above the aisles; there are also lovely sculpted capitals. The right nave has frescoes by Bernardino Lanzani, symbols of the evangelists and doctors of the Church. In the right transept there is a wooden sculpture of the nativity by Baldino di Surso (1473), as well as magnificent frescoes dating back to the 12th-13th centuries. Part of a mosaic floor is visible in the presbytery with a winged horse and a representation of the Year with the Months. To the right of the presbytery there is a chapel with a crucifix dating back to the 10th-12th century, on the left the Sant’Omodio statue (12th century). Down in the crypt with its sculpted capitals there is a statue of the Madonna and Child which dates back to the early 15th century, the work of a Lombard artist, and the monument to Blessed Martino Salimbeni, probably a pupil of Amadeo. The basilica of San Michele is of historic significance in that it was the seat of the coronation of Lombard kings in the Middle Ages.