The abbey was built upon request of San Bernardo da Chiaravalle and of the Pallavicino family in 1135 and was dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta. It was with no doubt one of the most active Cistercian centres in Italy.The 13th century porch, the romanesque church with its beautiful frescoes and the marvellous gothic cloister are still visible. The architectural complex has a classical benedictine plan with orthogonal and oriented elements that might be enlarged following a chequered pattern.The gothic cloister dates back to the 14th century.It represents the best quality example of the first cycle of works. It is the only one preserved outside the main surrounding cities on the territory of Emilia Romagna region. It has a square plan and each side is supplied with 96 small arches supported by 130 twin columns made of pink marble from Verona.