Santi Gregorio e Siro
With Annibale Carracci's altarpiece
Built in the 1530s by two Milanese architects, Tibaldo Tibaldi and Giovanni Antonio, this church was built on land expropriated from the Bentivogli and paid for by the Ghisilieri family, whose coat of arms adorns the façade, and whose tower was converted into the bell tower. After an earthquake in 1780 it was given its simple neoclassical front.
The interior, however, is considerably more lavish, decorated with Mannerist frescoes by 'the Vasari of Lombardy' Camillo Procaccini, an enormous early altarpiece of the Baptism of Christ (1584) by Annibale Carracci, and a couple of works by his brother Ludovico (God the Father and St George and the Dragon with Archangel Michael and the Devil, a rare double bill of the warrior saints) and, on the high altar, St Gregory shows the bleeding Eucharist to the Heretic (1581) by Bologna's Fleming painter, Denys Calvaert.
The church is the last resting place of the great biologist Marcello Malphigi (1628-94), whose marble tomb reads "SUMMUM INGENIUM / INTEGERRIMAM VITAM / FORTEM STRENUAMQUE MENTEM / AUDACEM SALUTARIS ARTIS AMOREM" (great genius, honest life, strong and tough mind, daring love for the medical art)
Via Montegrappa 15
Hours Mon-Sat 8am-12noon and 5-7pm; Sun 9.30am-12.30pm and 5-7.15pm
+39 051 237953