Brescia: San Faustino in Riposo

According to tradition, Faustinus and Jovita were two brothers from Brescia who were martyred during the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrianus (117-138). However, the ‘Acts’ describing their lives were only written much later and are exceptionally unreliable. Apparently this did not prevent the two brothers from becoming patron saints…

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Gubbio: Sant’Ubaldo

People who want to visit the church of Sant’Ubaldo high up the slope of Monte Ingino basically have three options. If they are lazy, they can go by car, which should take about 10 minutes from downtown Gubbio. A more challenging option is to go on foot. From the Palazzo…

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Gubbio: The Duomo

The Duomo is often the most beautiful and most richly decorated religious building of a city or town. The Duomo of Gubbio or cathedral of Santi Mariano e Giacomo is unfortunately an exception. It is a dark and chilly building with a slightly gloomy atmosphere. Most Italian cathedrals adjoin large…

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Gubbio: Sant’Agostino

When visiting churches, looks can be very deceiving. I had taken a look at the rather unimpressive late eighteenth century facade of the church of Sant’Agostino, and upon stepping inside had never expected to find gorgeous frescoes from the fifteenth century both in the apse of the church and on…

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Gubbio: San Francesco

Establishing the exact chronology of the life of Saint Franciscus of Assisi (1181/82-1226) is impossible, but it must have been in about the summer of 1206 that he first visited the town of Gubbio, some 30 kilometres and at least a day’s walk north of Assisi. Franciscus had a friend…

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Umbria: Amelia (part 2)

The church of San Francesco is located right next to the archaeological museum of Amelia. It replaced an earlier parish church dedicated to Saints Philip and James. My travel guide actually still calls the building the church of Santi Filippo e Giacomo, and this caused some confusion at the tourist…

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Umbria: Amelia (part 1)

The main reason we wanted to visit the lovely town of Amelia was its archaeological museum. This museum has a larger-than-life bronze statue of the Roman general Germanicus (15 BCE-19 CE) on display. Germanicus was a son of Nero Claudius Drusus, brother of the emperor Tiberius. Drusus had died in…

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