A few Kilometers from Mantova lies the village of San Benedetto Po, whose name anciently was San Benedetto in Polirone, this name its linked to the monastery found in the 1007 from Tedaldo di Canossa in the island rising between river Po and river Lirone. For the religious, political and cultural commitment the monastery, allied to Cluny and Montecassino abbeys, has played a very important role in the story of italian’s monarchism as long as it’s suppression work of Napoleone Bonaparte. This place, wished by Matilde di Canossa as place to lie for the eternity, has dominated for eight centuries the padana’s plain; further over thousand years of history are collected inside monumental complex which offers different way to visit in this characteristic places in the monastery.
You enter in San Benedetto Po from the ancient monastery’s entrance and you find yourself in the majestic square. This square has remained untouched since medieval times. Eyes are suddenly caught from the Basilica with its impressive architecture written by Giulio Romano from 1540 to 1545. The visit continue in the Secolary’s cloister, place where was greeted guests, pilgrims and stranges, From here, you going up the seventeenth-century’s stairs realized by Giovan Battista Barberini, and you arrive at the Civic Museum Polironiano. Y to ou proceed across San Simeone cloister ,with its late Gothic’s aspect, dateable from 1458 to 1480. The chapter hall overlooks on the cloister, it’s an important administrative center of the cenobium. The third cloister , the San Benedetto cloister it’s next to the Basilica. The route end with the Monastic Refectory, imposing building overlook on Matilde di Canossa square; it was wished by Gregorio Cortese who called two artists for the decoration: Girolamo Bonsignori the painter of “Ultima Cena” set in the painted architecture created by Correggio from 1513 to 1514. Under the Monastic Refectory you find the sixteenth-century’s Cellars; in these evocative spaces accomodate a large carts collection.