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Oratory of Santa Cecilia (Oratorio Di Santa Cecilia)
Oratory of Santa Cecilia (Oratorio Di Santa Cecilia)

Oratory of Santa Cecilia (Oratorio Di Santa Cecilia)

Free admission
Oct-May 10am-1pm, 2-6pm; June-Sept 10am-1pm, 3-7pm
Via Zamboni, 15, Bologna

The basics

A visit to this Romanesque chapel built by Giovanni II Bentivoglio is a must for art lovers, who will appreciate its exquisite frescoes that showcase the mastery of some of Bologna’s most important Renaissance artists, including Lorenzo Costa, Francesco Francia, Amico Aspertini, and Raffaello Sanzio. Stretching over ten panels, the elaborate scenes depict the life of Saint Cecilia and her husband Valerian; the church’s main altarpiece is now displayed in the National Gallery of Bologna. Join a walking or bike tour of Bologna’s historic center to take in the oratory along with other city highlights like the Basilica of Santo Stefano, Piazza Maggiore and the Basilica of San Petronio, the Two Towers, and the Church of San Domenico.

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Things to know before you go

  • Wear modest attire that covers shoulders and knees to visit the oratory and other churches in Bologna.
  • Photography without flash is allowed inside.
  • The oratory is accessible to wheelchair users.
  • A visit is especially interesting for Renaissance art enthusiasts.
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How to get there

The oratory is located in the center of Bologna’s historic center beneath the portico along the side of the Church of San Giacomo Maggiore, an easy walk from the city’s train station and main sights.

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When to get there

A visit to this quiet oratory is a welcome respite from the crowds in Bologna’s main square and larger churches during the busiest hours of the day; the oratory closes briefly at 1pm.

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The Fresco Cycle in the Oratory of Santa Cecilia

Begun in 1505, the oratory’s Renaissance frescoes cover the walls to the right and left of the oratory entrance and recount ten episodes in the life of the Saints Cecilia and her husband Valerian during the 3rd-century reign of Urbano II, when they were martyred for refusing to recant their Christian faith.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Oratory of Santa Cecilia (Oratorio Di Santa Cecilia)?
A:
Attractions near Oratory of Santa Cecilia (Oratorio Di Santa Cecilia):
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Bologna?
A:
As well as visiting the Oratory of Santa Cecilia (Oratorio Di Santa Cecilia), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: