Basilica della Pieve

First papers about Guastalla date back to the ninth century, and concern a donation made by queen Angliberga to nuns' cloister of S.Sisto in Piacenza.

Address and contacts

Via Pieve, 39 - 42016 Guastalla
Phone 0039 0522 824438

How to get there

See the indication to reach Guastalla

Historical notes

They also contain a hint about San Pietro chapel in Guastalla, its revenues and inhabitants. In the tenth century - during a period of great development of Romanesque style - this chapel was enlarged by Venice citizen Domenico Carimano, who had asked it to Ermenegarda (Angilberga’s daughter).
In 996 it was sanctified by Pope Gregorio V and in 1095 Pope Urbano II held there a preparatory synod for Piacenza and Clermonts Councils, well known for the 1st crusade.
In 1106 Pope Pasquale II gathered an assembly where it was established that civil and clerical investitures should be separated.
In the twelfth century an earthquake, which stroke almost the whole region, caused a collapse of part of the church, that was then restored following the same Romanesque style. In 1558 the Estense family, who unsuccessfully tried to occupy Guastalla, destroyed the village and the church tower, then a fire razed also the entire archives. Only in 1605 the church was renovated in Baroque style by parson don Giacomo Antonelli, according to a plan by Antonio Filippi, with eight side altars. Of this period are still to be seen: the frescoes, probably carried out by a local painter; a terracotta statue of Virgin Mary with the Child, by Guido Mazzoni i.e.”il Modanino”; the wooden crucifix in German style; a part of choir; some canvases by unknown artists, all painted on or around the sixteenth/seventeenth century.
In 1850 the façade underwent a first reconstruction in Romanesque style, while in 1931, due to the roof downfall, the entire church was repaired. Some vestiges of pre-existing Romanesque style and the trussed ceiling were then rediscovered, and it was then possible to re-build some destroyed parts, such as two side apses. The organ, dating back to 1870, is one of last Serassi with some older pipes belonging to the sixteenth-century organ.
It is very interesting that during works of 1931, some archaeological Roman findings came out, like handlebar bricks and tiles, which can still be seen on perimeter inside- and outside walls. The Romanesque tower was on the left of the church, and the present one - dating back to the baroque period - was then renovated several times, especially on its cusp.

Useful link

Holy mess times