Umbria Franciscan Itinerary La Verna – Assisi Part 2

This is an excerpt from the book “Umbria

Umbertide - La Rocca
Umbertide – La Rocca – Photo © Michele Tortioli – proprietà Regione Umbria

Church of San Francesco (Saint Francis) – (Umbertide)
The church of San Francesco (Saint Francis) dates back to the 14th century. Its facade, which is built of stone blocks, is decorated with a portal with a trilobate arch (three lobes in the shape of a clover), surmounted by a wide oculus (eye, round window). In the last chapel on the left we find a work by Niccolo’ Circignani, known as Pomarancio, entitled Madonna in Glory and four Saints, dating back to 1577. Immediately to the right of the church lies one side of the small cloister in the form of an arcade on pillars. On the right of the cloister stands the small church of S. Bernardino which houses a 16th-century wooden statue of Saint Bernardine. Both churches are closed for restoration.

Convent and church of S. Maria della Pieta’ – (Umbertide)
According to several local sources it seems that the convent can be dated to 1481. Its structure is not very large and having gone through the entrance door the visitor comes to a cloister entirely run round by brick-finished arches surmounted by an open gallery which overlooks the small courtyard below.

The date when the building works of the church began is not known for certain, although Briziarelli fixes it at 1486.

However, a private testament relating to a legacy of money for the acquisition of lime, pantiles, timber and bricks for its construction dates back to 4th September 1492 and by this means we can be certain that works were underway in this period.

A further enlargement took place in the 16th century and there are details of other bequests in favor of the community of Observants who lived there in 1524, in 1577 and in 1592.

In any case, the church had only just been completed when it was enriched with two works of great value, namely the Coronation of the Virgin by Bernardino di Betto, known as Pinturicchio, and a decoration on the lunette of the portal depicting a Madonna among angels attributed either to the latter or by others to G. B. Caporali.

The interior of the church has a single nave and nine altars. The high one used to house the work by Pinturicchio, which after various ups and downs in its history is now on exhibition in the Vatican Museums and has been replaced with a very poor copy in plastic-coated canvas.

Also worthy of note are the portal in bluish-grey sandstone which frames the chapel of the SS. Sacramento and the modern stained glass windows (vetrata di destra) e which date back to 1975, the work of Father Alberto Farina also well-known for his works in Assisi.

Umbertide centro storico
Umbertide centro storico – Photo © Michele Tortioli – proprietà Regione Umbria

Church of San Bernardino – (Umbertide)
The church of San Bernardino was built on an ancient oratory of the disciplinants.Tradition has it that St. Bernardine himself founded there, in 1426, the Congregazione del Buon Gesu’. Consecrated in 1556, it underwent various alterations up until 1768.

On the high altar, in addition to the painting by Flori entitled “The supper of the Apostles” of 1602, we find a gilt wooden statue of the dead Christ which used to be carried in procession on Good Friday, and became famous thanks to a miracle which took place on 14th April 1402, a date on which the wounds of the Christ exhibited in the church were seen to gush blood. In addition, the left-hand chapel contains a life-size crucifix restored in 1609; on the altar in the right-hand chapel dedicated to St. Bernardine and known as the Chapel of the Confraternity, we find a 16th-century statue of the saint made of sorb wood, attributed to Vecchietta of Siena or to his School, also carried in procession on 20th May.

The altar of St. Bernardine is also known as the altar of the relics because it contains numerous relics, all of which were authenticated by Bishop Mons. Andrea Sorbolonghi in 1610.


End of the excerpt from the book “Umbria

Gubbio - Palazzo dei Consoli
Gubbio – Palazzo dei Consoli – Photo © Michele Tortioli – proprietà Regione Umbria
Gubbio centro storico -
Gubbio centro storico – Photo © Michele Tortioli – proprietà Regione Umbria

Sanctuary of S. Ubaldo – (Gubbio)

Basilica di San Francesco – (Assisi)

Lower Basilica

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