The Church of Santa Maria in Cortina, is in the place where it was probably built by Bishop Savino, a church to house the remains of Sant’Antonino (which were later transferred to the Basilica). It was rebuilt between the 10th and 11th centuries. In 1478 the church was struck by lightning and was later completely rebuilt. In 1856 the church was restored. During the restoration works, towards the end of the 1800s, extraordinary finds from the imperial age were discovered, including the beautiful “Cecilio marble”, which demonstrate the use of this area since the first century as a necropolis.
The presbytery is frescoed by Remondino da Piacenza with a cycle of frescoes that represent the “Birth of the Virgin”, the “Annunciation”, the “Marriage of the Virgin”, the “Presentation to the Temple”, the “Assumption”, “The Apostles find the tomb empty “. Here is also an icon of baby Maria, dear to popular devotion.
The Church preserves a hypogeum that housed the first tomb of the martyr Sant’Antonino (patron of Piacenza), who was killed by the emperor’s hired killers at the beginning of the 4th century.
Every November 13rd starts here a procession that arrives in the Basilica of Sant’Antonino and which remembers the legendary discovery of the martyr’s body, after the Bishop Savino saw in a dream the exact location of the burial.
In the Church of Santa Maria in Cortina, until 5th May 2019, the event “The well of Sant’Antonino, an underground secret” takes place, a unique opportunity to go down to four and a half meters of depth and visit the place in to which the Christian tradition wants the body of the martyr Antoninus to be found. A shrine dating back to the 4th century, frescoed and with a vaulted ceilin, for the first time accessible to the public through a fascinating descent.
Closed to cult.