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Badia di Montecorona:

An 11c Abbey Church Near Umbertide


[image ALT: A countryside scene with a large field of some grasslike plant and two building compounds in the middle distance, one on the right and the other in the center of the photo. This latter is the abbey of S. Salvatore di Montecorona near Umbertide, Umbria (central Italy).]

The abbey from the N, with the ruler-straight 4‑km road from Umbertide behind us; a closer and somewhat different view may also be useful. The hill is Monte Corona, on the summit of which is the hermitage by the same name; for a view from above, see my diary, Mar. 18, 2004.


[image ALT: Partly obscured by a hedge of pine trees on the left, and three parasol pines in the middle and right of the photo, a 2‑story church of irregular stone masonry on the right, and in the center, a very elegant although sturdy 4‑story octagonal stone tower. It is a view of the church and the belfry of the abbey of S. Salvatore di Montecorona near Umbertide, Umbria (central Italy).]

The church and the belfry of S. Salvatore.


[image ALT: The façade of a 2‑story church of irregular stone masonry on the right, with an oversized door and an even more oversized rectangular window immediately above it; and in the left-center, a very elegant although sturdy 4‑story octagonal stone tower pierced with eight arches. It is a view of the church and the belfry of the abbey of S. Salvatore di Montecorona near Umbertide, Umbria (central Italy).]

The façade must have looked better when new, but seems to have been a bit mishandled over the centuries, probably in the interest of admitting more light. No complaints about the elegant octagonal belfry, though.


[image ALT: An irregularly shaped courtyard of whitewashed buildings, and in the background a somewhat taller building of irregular stone masonry. It is a view of the church of S. Salvatore di Montecorona near Umbertide, Umbria (central Italy), from the attached conventual buildings.]

An "inside" view of the exterior, from the courtyard of the attached conventual buildings.

The interior of the church might pass as two completely different buildings, each of which would be an important sight in its own right:


[image ALT: A hall-like space, about 6 meters wide and 9 meters tall, with Gothic vaults but also round archways; at the far end, at the top of a staircase of about 10 steps, a smaller more purely Gothic space containing an altar under a pyramidal ciborium, partly surrounded by an ensemble of wooden choir stalls. It is the interior of the church of S. Salvatore di Montecorona near Umbertide, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1 page, 14 photos ]

The upper church, a high-ceilinged room with a prominent 8c ciborium, the austerity of the space somewhat relieved by paintings, a pair of wooden confessionals, a painted choir loft.


[image ALT: A crypt-like space with three aisles of vaults springing from pillars; a long narrow carpet extends to the background, where there is an altar. It is a view of the interior of the lower church of the abbey of S. Salvatore di Montecorona, near Umbertide, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 3 pages, 14 photos ]

The cozy lower church, an early medieval forest of columns and capitals, with naïve 18c frescoes, red carpet and atmospheric lighting.

Yet S. Salvatore's history didn't stop in the Renaissance. The plaque by the front door is a witness, like so many other stones thruout Europe, to the ravages of World War I:


[image ALT: A marble plaque with an inscription, transcribed on this page. It is a World War I memorial on the church of S. Salvatore di Montecorona near Umbertide, Umbria (central Italy).]

Da questa pietra palpitante
di religione e di amore
s'irradia la gloria
dei figli più illustri della nostra terra
giovinezze ardenti caddero da eroi
per la salvezza della patria
conquistando per il dovere compiuto
il sacro diritto
alla eterna riconoscenza dei posteri

Bartoletti Angelo
Giammarughi Romualdo
Bussotti Leopoldo
Mambrucchi Giovanni
Casi Donato
Manni Primo
Cavalagli Secondo
Pieroni Guido
Gonti Domenico
Valeri Giuseppe

I parrocchiani di Badia
mémori del loro cruento sacrificio
posero
nel giorno 13 Giugno 1920
con preghiere e lagrime

From this stone
tremulous with piety and love
radiates the glory
of the most illustrious sons of our land
ardent youth who fell as heroes
for the salvation of their country
conquering by their duty fulfilled
the sacred right
to the everlasting gratitude of posterity:

Bartoletti Angelo
Giammarughi Romualdo
Bussotti Leopoldo
Mambrucchi Giovanni
Casi Donato
Manni Primo
Cavalagli Secondo
Pieroni Guido
Gonti Domenico
Valeri Giuseppe

The parishioners of Badia
remembering their bloody sacrifice
laid this stone
on the 13th day of June 1920
with prayers and tears

The same photo, enlarged, in case you're not finding the inscription fully readable.


[image ALT: A statue of a man in a business suit, on a base of rough-hewn marble. About 3 meters to his right, a jagged piece of marble with an inscription. It is a monument to Beniamino Gigli at the abbey of Montecorona, near Umbertide, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 1 page, 2 photos ]

Finally, the grounds of the abbey include an unexpected monument to the operatic tenor Beniamino Gigli; there's a reason for it, of course.


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Site updated: 25 Jul 09