At Spigarolo. In the chapel to the right, a small altar-piece of the Cremona type dated 1635, it preserves a modest Madonna with Child, and the Saints Roch and Blaise; the precious former high altar is carved in the manner of Giovanbattista Febbrari (first half of the 1700s).
In the apse, a Madonna and Child, and the Saints Gregory, and Bartholomew by Francesco Pesenti known as Sabbioneta (1547), inspired by Boccaccio Boccaccino; it was repainted by Pietro Balestra (second half of the 1700s), who added the cherub. In the room to the right, a reused votive fresco with the Madonna and Child (late 1400s).

The foundations of the nave seem to date back to the first half of the 1400s; while the deep nave to the right was added towards the end of the 1600s.
The elegantly crafted presbytery arch and the sanctuary appear to have been renewed towards the middle of the 1700s.
In the chapel to the right of the presbytery, a carved wooden altarpiece (first half of the 1700s).
The church also preserves some embroidered vestments from the 1700s.

The sober nave with its pilasters dates back to 1717; to the right of the entrance a coeval holy water stoup.
Above the altar, an ornate canopy (late 1700s) with an older canvas applied to it depicting the Coronation of the Virgin.
Of note are the very elegant Neoclassical seats of the choir and two side doors, signed “Franciscus Galli e Soranea fecit anno MDCCXCV, Vincentio Campanini Huius Ecclesiae Archip”; by the same hand the organ case and the chancel, also by wish of Campanini in 1791.
There are also some embroidered vestments, provided by Campanini (before 1826).

Constructed in the 15th century, it was rebuilt in the 18th, but of the eighteenth century church only the bell-tower, the cusp and the nave remain. The high altar dates back to the 18th century. In the first chapel on the left is a precious marble baptismal font (1633).

In the presbytery, an Immaculate Conception that appeared to St Genesius, a fine Neoclassical canvas (1826 circa) in the style of Michele Plancher; and St Francis in prayer, a copy after Guido Reni. In the sacristy, an oval St Margaret of Cortona and a rectangular St Luigi Gonzaga are ascribed to Pietro Balestra: the former canvas definitely came from Sant’Ignazio in Busseto, the latter is to be identified with one of the three executed respectively for the Parishes of Roncole Verdi, Sant’Andrea, and Frescarolo.

A Samboseto. Il sobrio interno, ristrutturato con cappelle laterali verso il 1650, conserva nella prima a sinistra un pregevole fonte battesimale in marmo datato 1581; segue l’Immacolata di Clemente Ruta (circa quarto decennio del ‘700) e a destra i SS. Vigilio e Donnino di scuola parmense (verso la metà del ‘600). All’altar maggiore Madonna col Bimbo e i SS. Vigilio, Lucia, Teresa d’Avila attribuita a Girolamo Donnini (attorno al 1741-43); rimarchevole l’esotica cornice laccata (fine ‘700).

Madonna dei Prati is located 2 kilometres to the north of Roncole. This majestic building, characterized by a central ground plan with apse, was built between 1690 and 1695-1696 by the architect Don Francesco Callegari to preserve a miraculous frescoed image of the Virgin Mary, located in a small chapel in Prati della Colombarola since the 15th century. The outside and the façade were never completed.
In the chapel to the right there is a beautiful carved frame from the end of the 1600s containing a contemporary Holy Family and Saints, a copy of a painting by Girolamo Bedoli of Parma housed in the Museum of Capodimonte in Naples. Other monumental frames from the same period are to be found in the chapel to the left containing the painting with God the Father and the Holy Family, dating back to the early 17th century and attributed to the painter Pasquale Ottino of Verona), and in the apse. The latter is probably the work of Giovanni Setti, who was active in Piacenza under the Farnese family. The sanctuary is a traditional destination for pilgrimages, even from the nearby dioceses of Cremona, Parma and Piacenza. Giuseppe Verdi also attended this church for two reasons: visits to his paternal grandmother in the village, and to learn the rudiments of music from Don Paolo Costa in an upstairs room of the rectory. The sanctuary is also linked to Verdi’s name because of the terrible disaster that took place on 14th September 1828. It is narrated that some time before, Verdi, who was serving Mass in Roncole as altar boy, allowed himself to become enraptured by the melody of the organ. The celebrant, Don Jacopo Masini, who wanted to bring the boy back to attention, gave Verdi a kick that made him tumble to the foot of the altar. Boldly, the future musician called out a curse, “Ch’at vena na saieta!” (May you be struck by lightning). That 14th September, the feast of the Name of Mary, a bolt of lightning entered the sanctuary, striking and killing four priests, including Don Masini, and two young choir boys, one of whom was Verdi’s cousin. Fate dictated that he, stuck in a nearby house because of the furious storm, would never reach Madonna Prati where he was supposed to accompany Vespers on the harmonium. The disaster caused him a sense of guilt and terror because of his curse and must have left a deep impression on the people of the village since an anonymous engraver left a naive but amusing illustration (1828).

Giovannino Guareschi and his “Bassa Parmense”

Busseto, the “Big Town”, Roncole Verdi, the “Small Town”


OPEN EVERY DAY 9.00 – 12.00. Free entry

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY 9.00 – 12.00. 50 minutes guided tours made by Guareschi Family € 5,00.



Reservation required

Masks and gloves required


This is where Giuseppe Verdi was baptized and where he practised playing the organ in his early childhood under the guidance of his first teacher, Pietro Baistrocchi. The organ, built in 1797 by Ferdinando Bossi of Bergamo, was restored in 1900 and again in 1964. The church dates back to the early middle ages, although what we see today is the appearance it was given in the 16th and 17th centuries. Preserved inside the church are numerous frescoes depicting devotional images from the beginning of the 16th century, two paintings with St. Michael the Archangel and the Virgin and Saints by Pietro Balestra of Busseto, and a stupendous archaic wooden statue of the Dead Christ. Both interesting and unusual, although visible only during the Holy Week when it is lifted above the main altar, is a large 19th century painting with a scene of Calvary, a work of art by the scenographer Girolamo Magnani of Fidenza. In the first chapel to the right is the font where Giuseppe Verdi was baptised. Other Verdi relics are visible in the small room located below the organ. At the base of the bell tower a plaque commemorates the year 1814 when Luigia Uttini sought refuge there with her baby Giuseppe to escape the Russian and Austrian troops in the turbulent period immediately following Napoleon’s defeat.

The Neoclassical Oratory of Santa Maria Annunziata – Piazza S. Maria, where on 31st January 1805 Verdi’s parents married, preserves an Annunciation by Vincenzo Campi (1581).
Its also contains an ancient sculpture of Christ in leather, which legend says was brought by a flooding of the river Po.
In his youth, Verdi composed four “Nocturnes” – now lost – for the Good Friday procession during which, even to this day, the statue solemnly passes through the main street of the village.