About twenty kilometres off Mantua this place is certainly worth a visit. The Polirone Abbey was founded in 1007 by Benedictine monks on the shores of the river Po. It soon became one of the most important abbeys in the north of Italy thanks to the Countess Matilde of Canossa first, and the Gonzaga family later.
In 1537 Giulio Romano entirely renovated the church, while Correggio (1513) painted the refectory. Interesting are the cloisters and the Romanesque oratory of St. Mary (1151). After Napoleon abolished the congregation in 1797 the buildings were demolished and abandoned until the Abbey was finally restored.
(Ph. Paolo Pescasio)