The small town of Lugnano in Teverina is situated on an isolated hill,in the Umbria region of italy to the south of Perugia.
The town is still surrounded by medieval walls, largely rebuilt by Pope Pius II. Lugnano not only has a very ancient past, but also a history of art worthy of special consideration - the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta is the most important monument in the town.
The medieval village and old town are the centre of a visit to Lugnano in Teverina and consist of ancient palaces of great majesty and great visual impact, which are the elements that are of most interest to visitors.
The Via Umberto I is the main street through the old city on which the side streets converge, in a layout that was typical of Roman cities, and a good base for your tour of the town
The Ridolfi-Farnese Palace is particularly noteworthy - it is also called the "Pennone" because it stands over the city. This palace was the residence of the powerful Vannicelli family from the Middle Ages then until the 18th century the building was the seat of the Pope’s legates.
Recently renovated, it is now the Town Hall. The building has a rectangular plan and is on three floors, with the corners of the palace, the balustrades and the portals made of rusticated travertine.
The collection of the Civic Museum at Lugnano, which is located in the Town Hall, holds the relics of the Roman villa of Poggio Gramignano, built in the second half of the first century BC. The museum contains geological and various building materials used in the villa.
The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta is in the center of Lugnano in Teverina. Described by R. Hutton as a "magnificent Romanesque church" it is built on a pre-existing religious building dating back to Lombard times using blocks of travertine from the quarries next to the Tiber, this Church probably dates from the 11th and early 12th century, although the inscription on the façade indicates the 12th century.
The porch is part of the original building, and supported by four columns and two half-side columns on the capitals of which there rests a lintel. Above there are five low arches, which support the roof half-barrel. In the sides of the porch there are mullioned windows, with access to the church through a single simple door.
The capitals of the columns are of Corinthian style. A carved animal with a human headstands out, and is thought to be a symbol of the fall of Adam. Above the columns there are bas-reliefs depicting the symbols of the evangelists while on the sides animals and monstrous beings are painted, a typical feature of medieval churches.
In the upper part of the façade there is a large Umbrian style rose window consisting of two double rows of pillars flanked by mullioned windowsn and a rose window above.
In addition to the usual reliefs of the Evangelists and the Cosmatesque decoration, the rose window is also flanked by two griffons that protrude significantly from the façade, and an eagle crowns the pinnacle of the roof.
The church interior has three naves and the columns have capitals carved with plants and geometric themes. There are also numerous works of great artistic value, such as a triptych by Nicholas Liberatore* (1430 -1502) depicting the Assumption and Saints, located in the apse.
In addition to the Crucifixion by the school of Giotto (14th century), in the chapel there is also the "Beheading of St. John the Baptist”, by Livio Agresti* (1500 - 1580), signed and dated 1573. The grand staircase is enhanced with an extensive fresco representing Philip of Arragon [1556-1598] submitting his kingdom to Pope Eugenius III [died 1153].
Finally, note also the picture of San Gerolamo: published anonymously this is traditionally assigned to Leandro Bassano* (1557-1622).
Lugnano in Teverina is located in a landscape of remarkable beauty. Its territory, mostly a hilly area, spreads across vineyards and olive groves from which an oil of high quality is produced.
Among other local products to enjoy we must mention the bread, and a famous cheese cake known as the "St. Francis’s bocconcello".
Saint Francis is particularly revered in Lugnano in Teverina because he is closely linked to the history of the city - according to tradition a miracle happened here involving a duck and a wolf.
In the area you can find the Church and Convent of St. Franci, erected on the site where the miracle took place. The convent was founded in 1229 by the local community in memory of St. Francis, who passied through Lugnano in 1212.
See also history of Lugnano in Teverina
*For more information see notes about historical Italian painters