Genus Bononiae: Santa Maria della Vita

Genus Bononiae or Museums in the city is comprised of eight cultural, artistic and museum itineraries in the heart of Bologna.  It was launched in 2012 by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio.

First stop:  Santa Maria della Vita


The Church of Santa Maria della Vita used to be called Chiesa della Vita (Church of Life) and was originally the official house of worship of the hospital called Ospitale della Vita (Hospital of Life), founded in 1260.  It is the most important Baroque architecture still existing in Bologna.

The church houses the famous Compianto sul Cristo Morto, terracotta sculptures, by Niccolò del’Arca. It was defined as a ”scream of stone”, because it shows the pain and grief of the living over the dead.


There is also an oratory which is the only sacred architecture in the city with a Venetian ceiling.  It houses the Funeral of the Virgin, another terracotta sculpture group, by Alfonso Lombardi, and the painting of the Madonna with Child and Saints by Francesco Bezzi.

Santa Maria della Vita is located at via Calvature 8-10, Bologna.

It is open all day, except Monday, from 10am to 7pm.

The ticket to see the Compianto and the Oratory costs 3 euro for adults, and 1 euro for children aged 6 to 18.  In some cases, the ticket is free. You could consult their official site for further information.






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