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Lugnano in Teverina (Terni province)

A town of SW Umbria: 42°34.8N, 12°20E. Altitude: 419 m. Population in 2003: 1600.

[image ALT: The upper story of the façade of a Romanesque church, consisting mostly of a 16‑arched rose window flanked by two pairs of lancet windows; the peak of the two-slope roof is surmounted by an eagle. It is a partial view of the church of S. Maria Assunta in Lugnano in Teverina, Umbria (central Italy).]

Part of the façade of S. Maria Assunta.

As its name indicates, Lugnano in Teverina is in the flood plain of the Tiber, or more accurately, and safely, on the top of a hill over­looking it, on the road from Amelia (11 km southeast) to Guardea, Baschi and Orvieto (9 km, 18 km and 28 km northwest, respectively).

The town's principal sight, one of the best Romanesque churches of Umbria, is the late‑12c collegiate church of S. Maria Assunta, with an elegant porticoed front very reminiscent of antiquity — no shortage of Roman remains in the area, including an important Roman villa of the imperial period — but also: late medieval reliquaries and a good painting by L'Alunno; some beautiful bas-reliefs of St. Michael spearing the dragon, and of what seems to be the Visitation (although a correspondent of mine with good eyes feels the two figures may be bearded and thus the scene would be of two pilgrims); a crypt with an ancient alabaster crucifix; and the characteristic ciborium over the main altar. Anyone confused by this use of the word ciborium, which usually refers nowadays to a liturgical vessel for holding communion hosts, should see this example in Rome, at least until I can put a photo here of the one in the church of Lugnano.

Just outside town, the 13c convent of S. Francesco and the 16c Capuchin convent both have a wealth of good frescoes.

Jewish history is represented as well: like other towns in this general area (Pitigliano in Tuscany, for example), Lugnano was just across the border from the Papal States, where Jews were less welcome; in the late Middle Ages a sizeable Jewish community made its home here, and today the old Jewish quarter is an atmospheric part of town well worth visiting.

A proper website will eventually appear here, since I've been to Lugnano and taken a couple of rolls of pictures of S. Maria Assunta. In the meanwhile, you might find it useful to read the July 21‑22, 2000 entries of my diary, which have 2 more photos of the church.

[image ALT: A detail of an exterior ledge on the church of S. Agostino in Lugnano in Teverina, Umbria (central Italy): from an upper molding of the stone ledge a small human head serves as a gargoyle; under the lowest molding, a nominally supporting corbel in the shape of a cow's head.]

[ 3/6/07: 1 page, 4 churches, 6 photos ]

My first instalment on that more formal website is a placeholder page on the churches of Lugnano: represented by a curiously "fair" sampler, which will at some point be replaced by a far more detailed site on the one church in town that stands above them all.


Lugnano in Teverina is one of the 8 or 9 comuni in Umbria that have no dependent towns with enough of an administrative identity to be a frazione.

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Page updated: 21 Feb 17