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Church of San Donnino

The church (XI century , re-built during centuries XVI and XVII) is arranged in three naves following style from Tuscany.

Address and contacts

Via Franchini - 42027 Montecchio Emilia
Phone 0039 0522 864110

Opening times

From 07:30 a.m. to 12:00 and from 02:00 p.m. to 07:00 p.m.

How to get there

See the indication to reach Montecchio Emilia

Historical notes

Behind the altar is a wooden choir made by Brindani: craftmen from Montecchio.
The Parish Church of San Donnino is Baroque in style and was originally an abbey. It is located in via Franchini, north of the castle and 200 metres from the square. It is the town’s oldest church, dating back to the first centuries of the conversion of the lands of the Po valley to Christianity. Given that the Bishop of Reggio already possessed lands and property in Montecchio as early as 822, there can be little doubt that an oratory already existed there at that time. The church is dedicated to Deacon Rainaldo of the San Donnino parish (what is now Fidenza, in the Province of Parma), who acquired lands in Montecchio from the wife of Marchese Manfredo son of the late Arduino on 8 March 991.
In 1233 the Church and its diocese, known at the time as the "Plebis di Monticulo", was in the Province of Parma. Its dependent churches were the oratories of San Pietro in Barco, San Giuliano in Gaida, San Nicolò in Cavriago, Santa Maria Maddalena in Reggio Emilia and a chapel in Campegine. Between 1596 and 1600 the original structure was rebuilt together with the bell tower. The rectory was built in 1613 and there are signs that work was done on the stained glass at about the same time.
The Church is Tuscan in its architectural style and has a Basilica layout with a nave and two aisles; the nave is higher than the aisles and has a semi-circular bowl-shaped apse. Its façade has three doors and a low portico, and the statue of San Donnino the Martyr is set in a gabled niche above the portico. The façade has eighteenth-century stylistic features. The interior, with a sail vault, is marked out by four rectangular load-bearing columns. The Santissimo Sacramento Chapel (Chapel of the Holy Sacrament) was painted by Augusto Mussini (Fra' Paolo da Reggio), in 1903. The altar-piece shows San Donnino, painted on canvas in the 18th century by J. B. Le Bel. The inlaid wood choir stall however dates from the 19th century and is the work of the Brindani cabinet makers of Montecchio. The bell tower stands at the same point as that identified by the original plans for the church and was completed in 1948. The Church has recently acquired a 15th century painting following lengthy and careful restoration work by Elisabetta Margini, a restorer from San Polo.