Passions & Places

Chiesa di San Pietro al Vallum

A Passage to Le Marche
A Journey through Baroque
Chiesa di San Pietro al Vallum

The church dates back to 1609. In that year in fact Girolamo Gabricelli from Fano decided to demolish a pre-existent SS. Pietro and Paolo temple having founded a new congregation. He wanted Giambattista Cavagna to plan the new building. The Roman architect was in Marche for the construction of the Santa Casa in Loreto (1605-1613).

The church plant is the typical Latin cross. It is composed by an only nave on which three chapels open on each side. Where the transept intersect the nave a beautiful open-work dome opens. 

It is beautifully trimmed by pendentives and stuccoes made by Girolamo Caccia (1696). The wide space reminds of the prospective breakdown typical of the dome-shaped roofs of Turin churches by Guarino Guarini. 

The cornice and dome tambour are made in stylish Istria stone. They were so conceived by Giovanni Maria Pazzia in 1626. The apse decoration was drawn by a preaching religious order of Rome and was carried out by the architect Lauro Bonaguardia from Bologna (1696-1700).  

The transept was later enriched by creating choir stalls decorated by Giorgio Feretti sculptures. The rich and effective plastic decoration is given to the genius of Pietro Solari from Rome. The vault is decorated with the story of Saint Peter by Antonio Vivarini. 

They are framed by beautiful floral elements. Saint Paul stories are instead depicted above the main entrance on each side of the large window. Saint Philip Glory is sided by other two events of the Saint’s life. The paintings are located in the vault frescoed by Stefano Regni from Siena.  

Three canvas representing the life of San Carlo Borromeo (in the left chapel) by Giovan Francesco Guerrieri, The recovering of the crippled by Simone Cantarini, Saint Peter that restores Tabita to life by Matteo Loves, the Annunciation by Guido Reni are among the masterpieces kept in the church.

The predominance of decoration is  intended to create illusionist Baroque. San Pietro al Vallum boasts characteristics almost unique in Le Marche.

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