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Abbazia di Fruttuaria, San Benigno Canavese

Church · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Abbazia di Fruttuaria reviews

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56 reviews
  • The Benedictine abbey was founded in the early 11th century by Guglielmo da Volpiano. Around 1400 it underwent a phase of decline which was followed by suppression; in 1585 it was transformed into a collegiate church. Vittorio Amedeo delle Lanze, in 1770, had a new large church built, based on a project attributed to Bernardo Antonio Vittone, whose layout overlaps the medieval structures. The original building had three short naves cut by a transept onto which five apse chapels opened: with the presence of several altars, different monks had the possibility of celebrating the liturgy at the same time. The walls of the transept chapels preserve colorful frescoes, with stylized faux marble motifs. The altar of the cross, in a central position, represented the fulcrum of the whole religious space and behind it is preserved the rotunda of the Holy Sepulchre, dating back to the first construction phases. The flooring of the area, made up of a series of mosaics with geometric motifs and animals placed within squares, came to light again in 1979. On the sides of the altar there are two squares with pairs of facing animals. The north panel, very incomplete, contained two lions, the south one, better preserved, two rampant griffins separated by a plant shoot. A second band at a lower level preserves within squares geometrically divided into rhomboidal spaces, four eaglets, an imperial symbol. The scene is completed by two other griffins (a Christological symbol) in black and white tesserae and polychrome inserts. The mosaics of Fruttuaria, of Benedictine origin, are among the oldest present in the Piedmont area. The eighteenth-century cloister, with a regular octagonal plan, represents the hinge element of the whole complex. During a recent restoration of the walls, some elements of the Romanesque phase emerged: these are four small masonry arches, supported by capitals in the shape of a truncated cone, supported by a small column, all in plastered masonry. The discovery of the ancient structures has made it possible to grasp the complexity of the system and has made it possible to retrace a thousand years of history of this building: an iron-concrete attic was built to divide the upper church, used for religious functions, from the lower one, which can be visited through an educational museum itinerary, thanks to the Amici di Fruttuaria Association. The first king of Italy, Arduino d'Ivrea, retired in Fruttuaria and died in 1015.
  • Very beautiful and really interesting abbey. Inside, through an underground archaeological path, you can see the remains of a previous, older church and its mosaic floors. The guides are very competent and prepared, the visit was very interesting.
  • The story within the story. Everything you expect except an abbey show… you won't be disappointed. The volunteers are very good at telling the story and vicissitudes of the place
  • Beautiful guided tour by prepared and kind volunteers
  • Beautiful place, all to be discovered with the help of the very good volunteers. Thanks to Bruno who described and explained in detail the history of this place. Advised

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