The Church of Santa Maria dei Servi in Rimini is a superb example of eighteenth century art and architecture, even though it in fact dates back to the early 14th century when the Malatesta family donated several of its properties in Rimini to the Servi di Maria (Servite Order) who used these to build their first chapel. The single-nave church was later developed by monks who created three chapels in the area of the apse for many works of art. The Church of Santa Maria dei Servi was rebuilt and redesigned between 1777 and 1779 by the architect Gaetano Stegani of Bologna and decorated with elegant Rococo stuccos by the plastic artist Antonio Trentanove which gave the church its definitive late Baroque style. The stuccos were, in fact, originally white and not painted in gold until a century later, about 1887, by Luigi Samoggia of Bologna, as part of a renovation and conservation project. After your eyes have recovered from the gilt and swirling decorations, you can admire other works in Santa Maria dei Servi by Giovan Battista Costa, a Baroque artist of Rimini, alongside frescos of the school of Giotto and seventeenth century paintings by Francesco Albani and Lucio Massari.

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