Behind its understated Romanesque façade and distinctive rose window, the Basilica di San Domenico is teeming with Renaissance treasures, as well as ranking among Bologna’s most important churches. The church was built in 1221 to house the tomb of San Domenico, Founder of the Dominican Order of Preachers, and the Ark of St. Dominic remains the church’s grand centerpiece – a magnificent marble shrine created by Nicola Pisano and Niccolò dell’Arca.
The church’s elaborate interiors also include colorful frescoes and paintings by Michelangelo, Filippino Lippi, Guido Reni, Ludovico Carracci, and il Guercino, while one of its three grand organs was once played by Mozart. Other priceless artifacts are on display in the basilica’s small museum, including a terracotta bust of St. Dominic by Niccolò dell’Arca and a gothic-style reliquary once belonging to French King Louis IX.
The Basilica di San Domenico is located on Piazza San Domenico in Bologna and opening times are: Mon-Fri 9am-12pm & 3.30 6pm; Sat: 9am-12pm & 3.30-5pm; Sun: 3.30-5pm. Entrance is free.