The San Francesco Museum in Trevi

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Visit to the San Francesco Museum in Trevi, inside whose rooms is housed, in addition to the Pinacoteca, the Antiquarium and the Olive Civilization Museum.

Enchanting Trevi, which fascinates from afar, so nestled on the top of a hill, from where it slopes, surrounded by olive trees. Olive trees to which its identity is strongly linked (in this area the Trevi DOP extra virgin olive oil is produced), to the point of dedicating a museum to the peasant culture.

In the Antiquarium the finds from Pietrarossa, a Roman settlement crossed by the Clitunno river are on display. After the presence of the Umbrians (a stele in the Umbrian language and Latin alphabet is visible), Trevi became Roman. Inside the rooms some funerary epigraphs from the territory, and a the skeleton of an elderly Lombard woman, found in Pietrarossa, where a necropolis was recently discovered.

The reconstructed burial, in addition to the body of the elderly woman, 1.66 tall and with the signs of an intervention on the skull (there are two holes), has some furnishings such as buckles and a jug; other objects, such as combs, earrings and other jewelry, coming from the same burials, can be admired in the display cases.

The museum complex is housed in some rooms of the former convent of the Conventual Minor Friars, suppressed under Napoleonic rule, then transformed into a boarding school before its current use. Some noble and cardinal coats of arms testify the large presence of noble families in Trevi.

In the Olive Civilization Museum, through multimedia tools, models and images, the various activities around this culture are illustrated. Tools for pruning, plows, tools for olive processing and squeezing are visible inside the rooms, but above all the simple peasant culture, the so-called “popular wisdom” is proposed through sayings and proverbs.

A collection of terracotta lamps testifies the various uses of oil as a fuel as well as a food.

On the upper floor there is the art gallery. From a balcony it is possible to admire in all its beauty the altarpiece of Spagna depicting the Coronation of the Virgin, in a spectacular breathtaking glance. This altarpiece is the replica of the one made for the monks of Montesanto in Todi, inspired in turn by the one made by Ghirlandaio for San Girolamo in Narni. In front of the large altarpiece of Spagna, a Madonna and Child by Pinturicchio, on a table, never finished, enchants for the poetry of the face and the background where nature is meticulously described.

A triptych by Giovanni di Corraduccio with the stories of the life of Christ, a deposition by Benedetto Coda and a banner with the representation of the Madonna della Misericordia, among the works that complete the collection.

The iconography of the Madonna della Misericordia, or the Virgin who, under her mantle, gathers the faithful and protects them, responds to specific needs of worship: she was invoked above all to help against serious events affecting the community such as epidemics and famines “Below your protection Holy Mother of God we seek refuge, do not despise the supplications of us who are in trial, but free us from every danger or glorious and blessed Virgin “says the most ancient Marian prayer.

The church of San Francesco, annexed to the convent, has a single nave and the apse with frescoes depicting episodes from the life of the Madonna. Originally completely frescoed, it preserves a very remarkable monumental organ from 1509, a very rare surviving example of a sixteenth-century organ called “wall”, still functioning.

The San Francesco Museum in Trevi well reflects the dual culture of Umbria region: the popular and agricultural culture thanks to which Umbra boasts products of absolute excellence (Trevi is the homeland, as well as extra virgin olive oil, also of black celery), and the higher one, inheritance of the great artistic lesson of our XV century.

Benedetta Tintillini

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