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Church and monastery of San Giovanni Battista - Spoleto

The complex of the former monastery, now entirely used for civilian uses, is visible only from the outside, from Vicolo San Giovanni and from Via Porta Fuga.
The first church, with a single nave, was built in 1254, with an entrance from Vicolo San Giovanni, still visible today. The monastery was later occupied by the Benedictine nuns who moved from the suburban monastery of San Giovanni del Colle del Consiglio.
Subsequently the Benedictine nuns, in the sixteenth century, built another church, with access from the current Via Porta Fuga. In 1860 the convent was suppressed and the building was used as a hospice for the poor and the elderly (hence the vulgar name "San Giovanni hospice") and then as a barracks (in fact in Spoleto some still name it as "San Giovanni barracks"). The monastery, and its delightful small cloister, have been recently renovated to be used for public housing and other civil uses.
In the monastic garden there is now one of the most popular Spoleto trattorias.
On the faηade of the primitive church, in vicolo San Giovanni, two frescoes are still visible, enclosed in two niches: although very damaged they have their own charm. The largest niche depicts the Madonna with Saints John the Baptist, Benedict, Anna and Gerolamo and two angels, a fresco referable to the early 16th century. The intrados and the front of the niche are decorated with grotesques and plant motifs.
The left aedicule dates back to the 14th century and represents the Madonna with Child between Saints John the Baptist and Catherine of Alexandria with the blessing Christ, while under the fresco, on the arch of the door, it is carved within a polylobed stone panel the Agnus Dei.
Inside the church, now occupied by offices, many frescoes are visible, made from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, still not properly studied, in one we read the date 1398.

SEE WS FOR DETAIL OF FRESCOES

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Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 17831 W: 130 N: 37512] (204024)
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