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S. Giovanni Profiamma: in Roman times, Forum Flaminii

A town of E central Umbria, in the comune of Foligno: 42°58N, 12°42E. Altitude: 201 m.

[image ALT: zzz]

OK, a water faucet on the front of the church of S. Giovanni Profiamma.

Now look closely: it's Roman. It's either a tombstone or possibly a small altar, all smashed up — the story of the town in a nutshell. Once an important Roman town where the two branches of the Flaminia met again before the road crossed the Apennines thru one of the few convenient passes, Forum Flaminii is now pretty much swallowed up by Foligno.


[image ALT: a weedy field]

Under this field next to the church, there is a major Roman archaeological site. Father Luigi Bonollo told me so: pastor of S. Giovanni and of nearby Pieve Fanonica (Roman remains there, too), he ought to know: he was there when the archaeologists moved in, dug everything up, and reburied it.


[image ALT: church façade with rose window]

The church itself is the town's main aboveground monument, with this rose window, an attractive Romanesque door with carved monsters, a crypt with good capitals and an unusual high-medieval square pillar. Its real glory, though, is an imposing 8c‑9c ciborium covered with intricate Celtic-looking knotwork and whimsically symbolic reliefs of peacocks.
[1/30/98: 3 pages, 16 photos ]


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Page updated: 29 Aug 05