Church of Saint Lawrence
This church can be found outside the city center, near the cemetery and church of Saint Mary of Boggio. Tradition goes that the church was founded by the brothers Saint Julian and Saint Julius – particularly by the will of Saint Julian – at the end of the fourth century.
In any case, the building you see today dates back to the twelfth century while retaining the original dedication to the martyr Saint Lawrence. Recent archaeological investigation has unearthed a foundation from the early Christian age.
The apse area is decorated on the outside with suspended brick arches, arranged in groups of three and divided by thin pilasters which, by contrast, descend on wide stone consoles. Until the fifteenth century the Church of Saint Lawrence served as a cemetery; in fact, many burial places have been found within the building, some which held high-ranking people. From the end of the ninth century, the church began to progressively lose authority following the construction of a large new basilica, dedicated to Saint Julian, on the village’s fortified hill, into which the founding saint’s remains were eventually transferred.
In the twelfth century the ancient church, by then abandoned and in ruins, was entrusted to the archbishop Litifredo under the care of local lay people who wanted to restore it and make it active once again as a place of prayer and worship. Thus the building’s wall covering shows evidence of clearly different eras: the “restorers” integrated the almost ruined early Christian parts of the structure with elements of the twelfth century.
Throughout the seventeenth century the church went through the process of another update, with an arcade added to the front, along with the sacristy and the bell tower.
Inside, a single, correctly oriented room concludes with a circular apse. This space is sub-divided into spans covered by round arches, while the presbytery is barrel-vaulted. Along the right wall, some fifteenth century frescoes are preserved: one of the Martyr Saint Lawrence, a Madonna with Child receiving the Magi’s gifts, and one of Saint Clare.
Closed but open to visitors upon request.