The small city of San Benedetto Po owes its historical, religious and artistic reputation to its namesake abbey complex, which dates back to the 11th century. The main buildings were designed in the 16th century by the Italian architect Giulio Romano, who is also the author of the Palazzo Te in Mantova and is known as the only Renaissance artist mentioned in Shakespeare’s work.
During the last decade, an extensive and costly restoration returned this masterpiece to its former splendour. The work was largely completed when the earthquakes of 20 and 29 May 2012 struck, severely damaging the abbey and setting back the entire conservation process. Since then, large parts of the complex have become inaccessible to the public due to the risks of falling debris or collapse.
The restoration of the Monastery of San Benedetto Po is a huge challenge, both in financial and tecnhical terms, which requires widespread cooperation and mobilisation.