Olivetan Benedictine Abbey of Saints Nicola and Paolo VI
The Olivetan Benedictine Abbey of Saints Nicola and Paolo VI is certainly the best-known religious complex in Franciacorta. Its foundation dates back to 1090 by the Cluniac Benedictines and, in fact, is part of the European Cluniac itinerary.
In the mid-fifteenth century the complex became the property of the Olivetans and reconstruction followed between 1450 and 1534. Various painters from Brescia also took part in the restoration, such as Gambara, Romanino, Moretto, Marone and Cossali. In the second half of the 20th century, at the behest of the Brescian Pope Paul VI, a major restoration work began and the Olivetans returned.
The religious building dates back to the end of the 15th century, the single nave interior has rich 18th-century decoration. Inside the complex there are also three cloisters of various sizes and styles: the smaller one, the oldest, dates back to the first half of the 15th century. The large cloister has a porch and loggia while the one known as the “Cisterna” is from the late Renaissance period.
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Virgin Mary with Child and San Giovannino, Jesus with the Samaritan Woman, Mensale with dishes (about 1532/1533)
Inside the refectory of the guesthouse, a space intended for welcoming guests and visitors, in 1530 Romanino created a cycle of frescoes connected to the sacredness of lunch In the canteen are still visible, in a lunette, the Virgin with Child and San Giovannino and, inside two panels on the wall, Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well and on the right a pantry with crockery, a rare still life by the artist from Brescia.