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A Warehouse Full of Frescoes

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The rather plain façade may once have been brightly painted: a hint of what's inside.

[image ALT: missingALT Norcia, Umbria (central Italy).]

[ 6/12/99: 1 page, 2 photos ]

Some churches are all pinnacles and portals, spires and sculptures; but the interior is not much. Others, like S. Agostino, are the reverse: it's mostly about the frescoes inside. Much has been lost, but much remains, and some of it is quite beautiful.

[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 ]

And then there's the underwearA few saints, of course, are commonly represented naked or nearly so: St. Sebastian is the example that comes to mind. But here, there's something odd going on. What, though?


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If you stand in the via Anicia, a small street behind S. Agostino, you won't think it's the same church. From the front, this belfry is hidden by the big blank pediment-like upper story of the façade that you saw above. The dilapidated Renaissance gate leads to an equally derelict church garden, if I remember well.

A little note here mostly for young people going on your first trip to Europe: there's a lesson in this. If you're doing the sights somewhere, don't dismiss a church or monument because it doesn't look so hot from one angle. Walk around it, or go inside: you may be surprised. Open your eyes.

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Site updated: 12 Jun 99