We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Beautiful and heartbreaking” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita
Book In Advance
More Info
$16.58*
and up
Bologna City Walking Tour
Ranked #6 of 315 things to do in Bologna
Certificate of Excellence
Lewes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful and heartbreaking”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2013

I am ashamed to say I had no idea this piece existed and found it entirely by accident, when I noticed a slightly surprising number of people entering and leaving Sta Maria della Vita. It is premier division art beautifully sculpted and accurately and passionately depicting the full spectrum of grief from dignified acceptance to hysterical denial. I saw many beautiful works of art on my recent trip to Ravenna Ferrara Mantua and Bologna but none hit me harder than this. If you are in Bologna you have to see it.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank FredH186275
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,005 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    734
    231
    27
    4
    9
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Noordwijk, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
158 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
“Amazing statues by Niccolo dell'arca”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2013

Honestly we didn't pay much attention to the church itself, what we went in for was the terracotta statues by Niccolo dell'arca, and it was amazing. The expression and the movement that the artist has created is truly amazing, you feel the emotions of the characters as if they were real.
Don't hesitate to walk in and look for the terracotta statues at the back of the church, you won't regret it !

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank veronique d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington,DC
Level Contributor
72 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Evocative terra cotta figures around the fallen Christ”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2013

This tableau, in the church of Santa Maria della Vita, shouldn't be missed during a visit to Bologna. It's free and you can pop in while walking to visit other sites. Check church hours, though, as they close at lunch. The tableau is made up of several life size statues made of terra cotta--the fallen Christ lying flat and then mourners such as his mother, Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Aramithea and others. The unusual thing is that each figure is a statue separate from the others. Also terra cotta statues like these are quite rare. The look of abject grief on the faces of the mourners surrounding Christ is memorable. The first time we visited this church by chance the tableau was more impressive. Right now they have erected scaffolding above and around the Compianto because of fears that the somewhat recent earthquake might cause some parts of the church to crumble and they want to protect this masterpiece. Go anyway. It's beautiful.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Rosetana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maastricht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
106 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“A cry in stone”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2013

Santa Maria della Vita is an old and nice fraternity church - well restored in 2006-2007 - in the old house next to it the famous painter Guido Reni worked. You might forget to visit it, but it is one of those small scale museums worth to stay for an hour. The market around is maybe distracting you... but take the time to see the Compianto del Cristo Morto group by Niccolò dell'Arca (15th Century). An expression in terracotta of the strongest emotions. Passion and Compassion. Solitude and Community. The first time I visited this church, it was still possible to walk through the statues and become one of the group... This is the place to listen to Palestrina or Gesualdo and share their intense feelings. 'A cry in stone' (D'Annunzio) or simply a suggestive cry - please listen and be moved by it.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank charles v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
214 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“A shock”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013

The terracotta statues were were the highlight. The experssion of Mary Magdalene and the sense of movement were impressive and the whole tableau is worth the visit.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Borderer12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita also viewed

 

Been to Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing