Close to the lake shore, there is a sight of the remains of the Renaissance church of S.Giovanni in Valdilago, which was once surrounded by a small hamlet. We now head for Bolsena, dominated by the imposing Monaldeschi fortress, where the urban stretch of the Francigena can be recognized in corso Cavour and corso della Repubblica, crossing the city from Porta Fiorentina to Porta Romana.

The route passes by the Gothic church of S.Francesco and the basilica of S.Cristina, which was such an important stage for the pilgrims that the name of the saint often replaced the one of the settlement in the memories of their trip. In fact, while in the Tabula Peutingeriana (which is a medieval copy of a route of the Iii-iv century a.C.) Bolsena was still indicated with its Latin name (Volsinis), in the medieval "guides" written by Sigeric, Philip II August of France or Nikolaus Munkathvera, the city is called with the name of its patron saint, i.e. Sancta Cristina or Kristinoborg. In honour of the young martyr Cristina, in a span of time between the Early Middle Ages and the XIX century a monumental complex made of several buildings grew. In the underground basilica lies the grave of the saint as well as the so called "Altar of the four columns". According to tradition, it was exactly in this place that the Eucharistic Miracle occurred in 1263, thus persuading pope Urban IV to establish the Corpus Domini feast in the whole catholic world.
The basilica has a Latin cross plan interior, with nave and two aisles and a bell tower which dates back to the XI century. Between 1493 and 1495, the original fa├žade was rebuilt in a renaissance style by order of Giovanni de' Medici (pope Leone X to be), who was then the governor of Bolsena. The making was entrusted to the Florentine artists Benedetto and Francesco Buglioni, who also realized several polychrome glazed ceramics. The underground basilica and the main church are connected to the New Church, which was built in the XVIII-XIX century to host the Sacred Stones of the Eucharistic Miracle on a sumptuous baroque altar.

Digg Stumbleupon Technorati Wikio Facebook Newsvine Reddit! Twitter


Search by label

Last comments about Italy


destination blogs - blogcatalog blog directory