Restoration of Cavriani’s Oratory in Sacchetta, Mantua, Italy

Project location: ITALY, Mantua
Project start date: June 2012 - Project end date: June 2012
Project number: 2012-025
Beneficiary: Sacha Caprianorum


The cemetery named "Oratorio sotto il titolo del S.S. Crocefisso" (Oratory dedicated to the Most Holy Cross) is a highly valuable cultural monument.

It is unique example of neoclassical architecture in the Mantuan province and, besides being a funeral monument, it is primarily a work of art.

At the time of its construction (it was designed and financed by Marquis Ferdinando Cavriani in 1785), the cemetery was located in the historical centre of the village of Sacchetta and was next to the 15th century Church and the Cavriani palace (a magnificent castle palace built in 1600 by the banks of the river Po, summer residence of the noble family and demolished in 1854).

The cemetery was finished in 1790 and is in a rectangular shape, surrounded by a wall about 2 meters high. There is an entry gate; opposite the gate there is the funeral monument of the Marquis Ferdinando Cavriani and his wife Maria Rosa Bentivoglio d'Aragona; on the left visitors can see the funeral monument of their son Antonio; on the right there is an open-side gallery(decorated by excellent frescos) with an altar in the middle. On both sides of the altar, three arches are supported by round columns and in front of the altar a vestibule is supported by two more columns.

The life of this cemetery was very short (about 20 years) because, due to the Napoleone law, the new cemetery was located outside the Sacchetta village.

Before starting restoration works, the conditions of the cemetery were disastrous: the roofs of the gallery were damaged and the rain had free access to the building.

The project was developed by Arch. Lisa Veronesi, received all the requested authorizations and, whith a competitive bid, the work was assigned to the Garutti company, which initiated the labour on may 2010.

The restoration works consist of:

- roofs maintenance and tinsmith works

- open-side gallery restoration (vaulted roffs, marbels, restoration of old plasters, restoration of the altar and capitals with stuccowork, restoration of the frescos, restoration of the terracotta floor)

- restoration of the hypogeous ossuaries

- complete restoration of Ferdinando's chapel (vaulted roff, marbels, restoration of old plasters, restoration of the terracotta floor)

- restoration of pheripheral wall

- blacksmith works at the gates

- sidewalk demolition and construction of a new sidewalk with cotto tiles

- digging operations and drainage realization in the courtyard

- scaffholding.

The restoration was completed in June 2012.

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