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Mondovì, the Cathedral of San Donato

Only a few steps from the green area of the Belvedere Gardens is the Bishop’s Palace (Vescovado). Here, in the tapestry room (Sala degli Arazzi), you can see an ivory crucifix attributed to Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Continue on to the Cathedral of San Donato, where the seat of the bishops of Mondovì has stood since the 18th century. The church was built by the architect Francesco Gallo between 1743 and 1753 and consecrated ten years later by Bishop Michele Casati. The cathedral is well-supplied with works of art, some of which come from churches that once stood in this district. Among them is the altar of the Renaissance church (1507), the wooden pulpit, an ancient bust of Pope Pius V, who was bishop of Mondovì from 1560 to 1566 and various painting of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Part of the 19th century choir comes from the Royal Castle of Casotto, the rest is the work of Roasio. In the center of the choir, Sebastiano Taricco, from Cherasco, painted the Virgin and Child. The painted decorations and stucco work were executed in the mid-19th century. The presbytery and the main altar, both made of marble, are decorated with large frescos: the apse is the Martyrdom of San Donato by Paolo Emilio Morgari; in the semi-dome, Luigi Harthman’s fresco of the Glorification of Saint Pius V with the four Evangelists; and in the semi-dome of the presbytery, the Coronation of the Virgin with four prophets by Andrea Vinai. The Chapel of Suffrage is a very good example of the Rococo style of the 18th century, with an alabaster crucifix of the end of that century.


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