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Abbey of S. Felice di Giano


[image ALT: A monumental arched door in an austere expanse of stone wall. It is the door of the abbey church of S. Felice near Giano dell' Umbria (central Italy).]

The austere 11c church is now surrounded by conventual buildings of later centuries; and even the façade, which of course has been kept clear of additions, is hard for the eye to take in and the camera to record: if you back up too far, you'll fall off a cliff! and right where the best views might be had, you find yourself blocked by a monumental statue of St. Gáspare del Bufalo (1786‑1837), the founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, the order that now occupies the abbey.

The S side of the complex is the friendly side, although the church can't be seen — it's behind the convent:

[image ALT: Part of a 3‑story stone building with an arched door, many small square windows, and a bit of medieval battlement on the third story, over the door. It is a very partial view of the abbey of S. Felice near Giano dell' Umbria (central Italy).]

This is only a small part of the convent. The door leads into the cloister.

The N side is what you see first if, like me, you're walking from Bastardo:

[image ALT: A bend in a small road leads to a large stone building of very irregular plan, seen partly thru trees. It is a view of the abbey of S. Felice near Giano dell' Umbria (central Italy).]

You're also looking at the main road from Bastardo to Giano; there's very little traffic.

The best views of the abbey, however, I haven't seen; a thumbnail formerly on the site of the comune of Giano (but now with the continuing shrinkage of the Web, removed), showed me I missed a very pretty view from the E. My own photos of it will have to wait for another set of walks in the area.

More importantly, as you can glimpse from that view, the E end is also the best side of the church from an architectural standpoint, since the Romanesque apse can still be seen and, although compromised by 16c additions and other major construction in the 18c, presents an attractively proportioned and rhythmical mass featuring engaged columns and a bit of blind arcading; it reminds me in some ways of the Roman gate of Trier.


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Page updated: 30 Oct 17