The Abbey of Pomposa

Our tour will lead to the discovery of the famous Abbey of Pomposa, which stands with its majestic Bell Tower on the surrounding plain of the Po Delta, recognized by Unesco as a world heritage site.

The origin of the Abbey dates back to the 6th-7th centuries, when there was a Benedictine settlement on what was the Insula Pomposia, a wooded island surrounded by two branches of the river and protected from the sea. After the 11th century there began a period of greater splendor it became a thriving monastic centre devoted to a life of prayer and work, its fortune was linked to the figure of the Abbot San Guido.

particolare_porta_ingresso_abbazia_pomposaPomposa monastery welcomed illustrious figures of the time, among them the monk Guido of Arezzo, inventor of musical notation based on the system of seven notes. Inside the basilica of Santa Maria we can admire some of the most precious frescoes of the whole province, inspired by Giotto’s style, and the beautiful mosaic floor with inlays of precious marbles placed between the 6th and 12th centuries.

The aisles were painted within 1360 by Bolognese craftsmen and deal with the theme of the Bible of the poor. The arrangement of scenes is of three installments: at the top scenes of the old testament, in the center the New Testament and between the arches, the Apocalypse of St. John.

The logical conclusion of the complex figurative cycle is painted opposite the façade with the universal judgment with clear cut separation between divine and earth levels and between the secular and ecclesiastic. The hellish scenes are of strong emotional impact and take up more space than heaven, evoked by the figure of the Patriarchs welcoming the souls of the blessed.

The Abbey complex also includes the Palazzo della Ragione (11th century) in which the Abbot exercised the administration of civil justice on the vast territory under the authority of the monastery, the refectory and the Capitular Hall with frescoes dating from the first two decades of the 1300 is alongside the hall of manuscripts which is not open to visitors. On the first floor of the monastery, in what was once the monks’ dormitory, we find the Pomposa Museum.


Guided tours can be made during the following hours:
8.30-19.00 except Mondays (when the Abbey complex is closed)

Costs are not included in the guided tour:
Weekdays:  5.00 euros;  reduced (from 18 to 25 years)  2.50 euros
Sunday and holidays: free admission to the Church.  Other areas:  3.00 euros; reduced 1.50 euros
Free admission up to 17 years of age and for all the first Sundays of the month