Temple of the Holy Virgin of Assistance, known as “La Rotonda”
This peculiar religious building is known for its octagonal shape. The “La Rotonda” church was designed by Francesco Zamberlan (an associate of Palladio’s) in 1594. It was commissioned to properly house sacred depiction of the Virgin Mary with the Child that holds a rose on her knees. The painting is considered miraculous. The building’s main body is formed by two octagonal units. The internal one is the church’s structure, and the exterior one is a portico that is open on seven sides. The internal octagonal structure has three big windows on each side. It has a sloped roof, which was finished in 1622. It replaced the original dome, which was demolished in 1606 because of its structural failures. The paintings that decorate the interior are remarkable: 22 large canvases (about 360×430 cm) on two levels celebrate 22 Venetian mayors. Many of these were painted by the leading artists of the time in Veneto, such as: Francesco Maffei; Pietro Liberi; Pietro Richi; Andrea Celesti; Pietro della Vecchia; Antonio Zanchi. A fine pipe organ is on a trapezoidal balustrade. It’s the 34th creation of the famous Venetian organ builder, Gaetano Callido. The bell tower, which is in the adjacent square, is 57 meters tall. It was designed by architect Baldassarre Longhena. (Piazza XX Settembre – Rovigo)
Cathedral of St. Stephen
The first document that indirectly attests to the church’s existence is from 964. This first church was rebuilt and finished around 1073. The church and the district survived the rout of Ficarolo (1152), but the church was rebuilt again in the mid-15th century anyway. About two centuries later the church was already heavily compromised, and its reconstruction began in 1696. 15 years later the work was advancing well: in 1711 the old cathedral was demolished. The construction of St. Stephen’s church was finished in 1778, but the façade remained unfinished. The church has a single nave with three chapels per side. A dome is above the crossing of the church’s transept and nave. The cathedral also has a deeply set sanctuary and apse. Some examples of the artwork contained inside are: an Adoration of the Magi from the late 1500s; the 1700s tabernacle; the bronze candelabrum from the 1500s; two large paintings of St. Paul and St. Peter, which are attributed to Benvenuto Tisi from Garofalo; four small marble figurines by sculptor Anotnio Corradini of Este, who was in Rovigo around 1717-1718.
(P.za Duomo, n° 5 – Rovigo)
Church of St. Francis and Justina
The first part of the church of St. Francis was built between 1297 and 1300, in gothic style. In 1413 the church was expanded, with a nave on the right, with three chapels connected to it. The bell tower was built in 1520. The central apse was extended in 1533. During the Napoleonic age the convent was abolished. The church was stripped and desecrated on September 2nd 1799. Church services resumed on April 11th 1799. On April 11th 1806 a new parish church, dedicated to St. Francis and St. Justina was built to replace the ancient church of St. Justina. The current building is the result of renovation work that began on May 13th 1827. This completely upset the original building’s style, by engulfing it and turning it into the transept. The façade was built later, between 1853 and 1896, on the churchyard. The marble statue of St. Lawrence the martyr on the third altar on the right, by Giovanni Marchiori, is worthy of note. On the third altar on the left is a 1526 Pietà with saints, by Tullio Lombardo. Other works of art in the church are: the Virgin Mary sitting on a throne with St. Peter and St. Andrew, made by Domenico Panetti after 1505; St. John Baptizes Christ from 1542, by the Master of the Twelve Apostles.
(Piazzale S. Francesco, n° 6 – Rovigo)
Church of St. Bartholomew and Olivetan monk convent
It originated in the 13th century, when the Humiliati moved in the area. They built a chapel and a “domus”, which were expanded into a fully-fledged monastery over the centuries. The monastery was given to the Olivetan monks in 1474. The current church was finished in 1592. It’s simple, with a single nave and a barrel vault. It contains some interesting artwork, which is evidence of close contact the Olivetan centers in Ferrara, Bologna, and Verona. The renovated organ was made in 1778 by Gaetano Callido. The monastic complex, which has been renovated, still has the cloister, with its unique columns and vault. The well in the middle of the cloister has been attributer by some scholars to Il Sansovino. Nowadays the monastery houses the Museum of great rivers.
(Piazzale S. Bartolomeo, n° 17 – Rovigo)
Church of the Holy Annunziata known as St. Mary of Sandbanks
This church was engulfed by the municipal cemetery in the 19th century. It was built where a pre-existing oratory once stood, as reported by 13th century documents. The church was built between 1300 and 1430 (it’s mentioned in trustworthy sources from the late 15th century). It maintained its appearance for over 300 years, but the façade was rebuilt in neoclassical style in the first 20 years of the 1800s. The church contains some interesting paintings and one of the organs that Gaetano Callido from Este designed and built.
(Via Oroboni – Rovigo)
Oratory of the Holy Conception, known as “Church of Christ”
It was built in the same place in which, in the mid-1200s, the first Franciscan chapel of the city was built. The current church was expanded in 1650, then remodeled later on. It has three low naves divided by columns; a wooden ceiling; a dome. The façade was dates to 1888, while the bell tower was built in 1793.
(Via IV Novembre – Rovigo)
Oratory of the Holy Virgin of Pompeii, also known as Church of the Pits
It was built in the early 20th century (1903). It underwent conservative renovations in the early 2000s. It doesn’t have any noteworthy artwork, but its location and simple architecture draw worshippers and tourists to it. It’s also known as Small church of the pits, because of via Gorizia’s previous name (Road of pits).
(Via Domenico Piva – Rovigo)
Church of St. Anthony the Abbot, also known as church of St. Dominic
This church was consecrated in 1543. It was renovated multiple times throughout the centuries. The church maintained its original rectangular design, but the façade changed. The doors now face Via X Luglio. Some noteworthy sculptures from the 1700s, such as the bust of St. John the Abbot and the statues of St. Paul and St. Sebastian are noteworthy.
(Via X luglio – Rovigo)
Sanctuary of Our Lady the Pilgrim
It was built in 1957 in the ancient Commenda area. In the late 12th century a hospice and its church, were in the area. They were later given to the Hospitallers of St. John as commendation. The complex was demolished in 1860.
(Via Domenico Piva n° 31 – Rovigo)
Church of St. Agustin
The church of St. Agustin was built at the end of the 16th century, as an addition to the convent of the Hermit Fathers of St. Agustin. Their congregation of Mount Ortone had existed since 1528.The convent was demolished two centuries later to make room for the new diocese seminary. The church was remodeled, but it kept its original layout, with a single nave and simple, harmonic features. It was recently renovated. The church has lost its religious use, and it houses artistic and musical events organized by the Venezze musical conservatory.
(Via Sichirollo – Rovigo)
Church of St. Michael
This church dates back to 1616. It was part of the Convent of the Capuchin Friars, which was abandoned in the late 1800s. The church still has its simple and plain façade, and its single nave. The church has been deconsecrated, and is undergoing renovations.
(Via Dei Cappuccini, n° 13 – Rovigo)