Italy

Pomposa Abbey

This medieval monastery is renowned for its art, architecture, library, and Carolingian repositories, and is where modern musical notation was invented.

Pomposa Abbey Northern Italy’s Most Important Monastery

First mentioned in 874, this Benedictine abbey was likely established 200 earlier. It played an important role in the culture of Italy thanks to the work of its scribe monks and was where Guido d'Arezzo invented modern musical notation in the early 11th century. The 11th century free-standing campanile is one of the finest surviving bell towers from the Romanesque period. The triple-nave basilica originated in the 7th-9th century, and was enlarged as the abbey grew in power and prestige through the 11th century. The interior contains a 12th-century mosaic inlaid stone pavement, and some of the finest frescoes in Northern Italy. Vitale da Bologna, a Riminese master, and a pupil of Giotto have all graced the interior with breathtaking paintings.

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