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The Invisible Dragon
S. Pietro in Fornole: the Interior

It's tough work being a tourist, at least a good one. Why go somewhere to "see things" if I don't keep my eyes open? Now it's easy to see when we have someone to point the sights out to us, or that next best thing, a good guidebook. But what happens when we don't? Here's what happened to me, in a fifteen-minute visit of this small church:

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St. Anthony of Padua, I think; the vignettes in the upper corners, probably of miracles, would clear up the saint's identity, as would the text on the pages of the open book.

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A 17c pope, or a 17c painting of an earlier pope, or a copy of one. Generic in every way, although the keys are right: one silver, the temporal power; the other gold, the spiritual power.

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Last Supper, an oil painting: no earlier than the late 16c; I suspect in fact it's a work of the 19c. The most interesting items to me are those where the artist made no pretense of mirroring historical reality, and therefore really did mirror his own time: the forks and knives, the embroidery on the band of the tablecloth, still seen today in Umbrian linen shops.

But the one work of art to see in Fornole, I missed: a fresco of St. Sylvester, to whom at one time the Fornolesi gave special devotion because he is said to have chased away a dragon in the area. Mind you I looked for him here, carefully, and didn't find him; I left consoling myself with the notion that well, if the dragon is gone, why would the saint stay?

Years later though, I learned that my eyes were good, even if my brain was not quite up to speed: S. Silvestro and his dragon are in his own church and park, somewhere not far from S. Pietro.

If you just landed here from a search engine, for more general interior and exterior views of S. Pietro, see the Fornole homepage (in the navigation bar below).

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Site updated: 16 Feb 07