The Museo Capitolare di San Lorenzo is housed in the 25 rooms and 2 floors of the former Palazzo di Martino IV, Palazzo dei Consoli, and Palazzo del Capitolo dei Canonici in Perugia. In addition to the mostly religious works of art, there is also an archaeological section.
Museo Capitolare di San Lorenzo Perugia
Address: Piazza IV Novembre – 06123 Perugia. Phone: +39 075 5724853. Opening times: April 1 to July 14 and Sept. 16 to Oct. 31: Mondays 10:00 till 13:30 and 14:30 till 18:00 (closed on Monday afternoons); July 15 to September 15: From 10:00 till 13.30 and from 14:30 till 18:00; November 1 to March 31: Tuesday to Friday from 09:30 till 13:30 and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 till 17:00. Closed: December 25. Ticket price: 10 Euros (75+ and university students, 8 Euros; age 7-18, 6 Euros; age 0-6, free; family ticket, 30 Euros.
History and description
The Museo Capitolare di San Lorenzo is more or less what in most Italian cities is called the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. The museum has existed since 1923 and was opened on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Pietro Perugino’s death.
On display are (mainly) religious works of art and other decorations from the cathedral of San Lorenzo itself, but also from other churches in the diocese. The period from which the works originate is roughly between the 14th and 19th centuries.
The collection of the museum consists of illuminated manuscripts, sculptures and 14th to 19th century paintings.
What to see in the museum
The miniatures span a period between the 6th and the 15th century.
One of the highlights is Luca Signorelli’s “Sant’Onofrio” (1484). The Madonna and Child are depicted along with an angel making music, John the Baptist and Saints Onofrio and Lorenzo, plus the people who paid for the painting.
Benedetto Bonfigli painted the Gonfalone for the San Fiorenzo Church during the 1476 Plague epidemic. A Gonfalone is a standard people used to pray to asking God for help. During difficult moments it was also carried in a procession through the city.
A sculptural masterpiece is the, recently reassembled, “Altar of Pity” by Agostino di Duccio.
Between 1216 and 1305, five conclaves took place in Perugia. A leftover from that period is a faldistorium, a foldable wooden chair, in this case made of ebony. The chair in question was especially reserved for the Pope and is decorated with multiple carvings.
A stone plaque shows what Perugia used to look like in Etruscan-Roman times.
The visit includes a walk through the Etruscan-Roman acropolis below the Cathedral. The total length of the walk, which also includes medieval ruins, is almost one kilometer. Ruins that are visited include a medieval public administration building, the podium of an Etruscan temple, a medieval hall, a large Etruscan wall, the base of a Byzantine tower, an Etruscan-Roman road and ruins of a Roman house.