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S. Pietro in Verna


[image ALT: A small church of mixed stone and brick masonry with a tiled roof and a narrow triangular belfy; a single small ogival window can be seen, but much of the church is obscured by several cypresses. It is a view of the church of S. Pietro in Verna, Umbria (central Italy).]

The little church you see here is the parish church of Verna, a hamlet in the frazione of Trestina — and other than that, I have no information. If you can improve on my summary then, I'd appreciate hearing from you, of course!

[image ALT: A small church of mixed stone and brick masonry with a tiled roof and a narrow triangular belfy. The building is viewed side on, and a single small rectangular door can be seen and the five steps leading to it, but much of the church is obscured by several cypresses. It is a view of the church of S. Pietro in Verna, Umbria (central Italy).]


[image ALT: A small rooftop structure, of triangular plan, with an arched opening in which hangs a bell. It is the belfry of the church of S. Pietro in Verna, Umbria (central Italy).]

This type of open belfry is a variation on the standard campanile a vela, exceedingly common thruout Italy, in which the bell-tower is formed of a single flat wall with one or more bays. The corner version we see here is much rarer. The only other one I remember seeing anywhere is only 25 km from here, at Cospaia; I'm tempted to call this a regional characteristic, but I fear I might have seen many others elsewhere, and have just not paid as much attention as I could.


[image ALT: A ceramic plaque, looking rather like stone, in the shape of an equilateral triangle with curved sides, over a door, the top of which is just barely visible, in a wall of mixed stone aggregate masonry and brick. It is the tympanum over the main door of the church of S. Pietro in Verna, Umbria (central Italy).]

Not all carved tympanums are medieval, or even old. This late‑20c example (from the church's front door), which I seem to remember is not stone but ceramic, is a failure because of its peculiar, awkward proportions: due in turn to a desire to make something a little larger than what would normally go over this little door. Iconographically it's a failure as well: whatever the scene represented, it doesn't readily come to mind, at least not mine; the sentimental, androgynous figures and the ambiguous gesture hardly help. (The Visitation??)


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Page updated: 2 Aug 05