Santa Maria or Ciusara Church


This remarkable yet little known sacred building, called Santa Maria Church or Ciusara, was first mentioned in 1000 A.D. In 1768 the Republic of Venice deprived the monasteries of the rural parishes and Santa Maria Church, situated in the very old town, became the parish of Bonavigo. Then the convent was suppressed and the church was looted. Today this holy place is considered a National Monument. During one of the restoration works, wonderful Byzantine frescoes were discovered in the two small apses on the two sides of the main altar: they are one of the rare examples of that civilization in our land. The church has a gabled façade adorned with suspended arches and the rounded bottomed corbels, with horizontal incisions, are typical of the twelfth century. The limestone and cotto brickwork has pieces of herringbone stone, alternating with thick and thin layers of brick. The tuff and cotto bell tower stands out for its colours. The one-room interior has an apse flanked on both sides by two small apses with old and remarkable paintings and frescoes. The font is also remarkable. Over the centuries many restoration works have partly modified the original aspect of the church, such as the façade entrance door. Inside the church Byzantine elements mix with Romanesque ones.


First half of the 12th century


Via Santa Maria, 3
37040, Bonavigo (VR)

Opening hours

Open to visitors by appointment: please call to reserve your visit.


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Phone number: 0442/73090