Religious architecture has always been an important form of art, and in Italy, over the centuries it has created incredible masterpieces. In particular, throughout the country there is a rich heritage of cathedrals and basilicas domes embellished with frescoes and decorations that offer enchanting perspectives. Here are of the most impressive ones.


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Dome of the Roman church Sant’Andrea della Valle, photographed by Reiner Martin – Attribution License

Basilica Of Sant’andrea Della Valle, Rome – This imposing dome by Carlo Mademo was for a long time the third largest dome in the city, after the Basilica of St Peter and the Pantheon. The lavish dome decoration, completed in 1627 and depicting the Glory of Paradise, is the work of Domenichino and Giovanni Lanfranco.

Florence Cathedral – Also knwon as Saint Mary of the Flower, the Cathedral has an immense octagonal dome designed by Brunelleschi and decorated first by Giorgio Vasari and completed by Federico Zuccari with the theme of the Last Judgmente chosen by the Grand Duke Cosimo I de ‘Medici.

Sanctuary Regina Montis Regalis, Vicoforte (Cuneo) – The largest elliptical dome in the world is embellished with the largest single theme fresco on the planet, which has an area of 64,930 sq ft, that was completed in 1752.

Parma Cathedral – Antonio da Correggio’s fresco of the Assumption of the Virgin, with which he decorated the vault of the dome between 1526-1530, is an Illusionistic ceiling painting in which the assumption of the Virgin seems to be happening as the viewer looks at the vortex of clouds and light.

Temple Of The Beata Vergine Della Ghiara, Reggio Emilia – It was Lionello Spada, a pupil of the Carracci, who covered the grandiose dome of the Temple with frescos depicting stories of women of the Old Testament in Late Renaissance style.

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