PERUGIA Art and religion -
Church of San Pietro
Angry citizens burnt the abbey after Francesco Guidalotti in 1398 plotted against the leader of the People’s Party, after which there followed a period of decline in its fortunes. As demonstrated by the existing buildings and interiors, however, the abbey recovered considerable prosperity under the rule of Pope Eugene IV.
The triple-arched portal at the entrance to the main court reflects Porta di San Pietro, which is visible from here. It was built in 1614 to a design by Valentino Martelli, who had also designed the main cloister and a second foor that was never built.
The minor cloister (or 'delle Stelle'), was instead designed by Galeazzo Alessi in 1571.
The original Romanesque blind arches on the facade of the church have been restored (see the paintings by Bonfigli in the Galleria Nazionale).
There are also frescoes by local painters from the 14th century, while the portal dates back to the late 15th century.
The interior is a mixture of ancient columns and has a Palaeochristian basilical structure. The Gothic wooden choir is considered to be one of the finest in Italy and was completed between 1525 and 1591). The painted and guilded wooden lacunar ceiling is from 1556, while the large quantity of frescos and paintings by various artists include some by Antonio Vassillacchi (1592-94), Sassoferrato, Guido Reni, Vasari, Guerricino and Perugino (Pietro Vannucci).
The sacristy was added in 1451 and contains inlaid furniture from 1472, as well as what remains of a pavement in Deruta tiles. The frescoes are by Danti and Peccenini. The paintings hanging here are by Perugino, Parmigianino and Raphael. A door in the apse of the wooden choir leeds to a tiny balcony that affords a stunning view over the Valle Umbra as far as Assisi, Monte Subasio, Bettona, Montefalco and the Apennines.
The buildings of the abbey around the two cloisters now house the Agriculture Faculty of the University of Perugia, which also owns the abbey's former properties in Casalina, in the Tiber valley.
Chiesa di San Pietro
Via Borgo XX Giugno [old town centre]
Info: Ph. +39 07534770
Timetable of Holy Mass:
Sundays and holidays: 8.30am – 11am
APM (Public municipal bus transport authority): stopped bus - Tre Archi, Piazza Partigiani [only 400 meters away]
Linea 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13s, 13d, 15, 81, 82, 83, 87, bis28, bis31, bis33, bis34, bis39, bis41, bis44, bis50
Disabled access available