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Santa Maria di Vezzolano abbey

Coming from Turin, proceed to Castelnuovo don Bosco, to then follow the signs for Albugnano and in the end for Vezzolano.

The Santa Maria di Vezzolano complex, owned by the state, is in the hands of Piedmont’s Soprintendenzaper i Beni Ambientali e Architettonici (Office of Environmental and Architectural Trust).

According to a legend, the Abbey was founded by Charlemagne. It is most likely that at the beginning it was the chapel of a castle and the first written testimony of its existence dates back to 1095. Between the 12th and 13th century it knew a period of great splendour. In 1148, Pope Eugene III took the Abbey under his protection.
In 1226 the Vezzolano Chapter invested half of the estate of Albugnano Bonifacio II, marquis of Monferrato.
In 1405 Vezzolano was awarded to the priests.
In the course of the 1800s the church was assigned to the town of Albugnano, while all of Vezzolano’s possessions were declared by the French government national goods and sold by auction.
More recently, from 1969 to 1971 the Abbey hosted a community of Benedictines.
The Abbey presents a Roman brick and sandstone façade, in 12th century Lombardy style. In the centre, the portal presents prestigious reliefs, and is surmounted by three column covered arcades.
At the end of the left side is the bell tower, decorated with braided arches.
The interior presents two apsed naves besides a third, which plays however part of the cloister. The naves are divided by pilasters, which support acute arches and cross vaults.
The central nave holds a two-order bas-relief: in the lower one 35 patriarchs, ancestors of Mary are portrayed, in the upper one, the disposition of the body of Mary, the Assumption and the Triumph in heaven.
A Gothic triptych in polychrome terra cotta can be admired on the altar.
The cloister is accessed in the front of the right nave. It holds 13th and 14th century frescoes.
In our day, the Abbazia di Vezzolano hosts a permanent Romanesque exhibit. Further, each year on June 13th, the Albugnanesi dedicate a procession to S. Antonio da Padova, to whom a vow was made in 1673 in order to end the cattle plague.

Summer 9 - 13 / 14 – one hour before sunset
Winter 9:30 - 13 / 14 - 17
Closed Mondays

Group visits:

Information: tel.
fax 011.4361484

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