The San Bernardo Church and its Monastery are located at the very eastern end of the tuff stone hill on which the historical center of the city of Nepi was built. The main attraction of the church is a fresco depicting the “Madonna dell’Immagine”.
San Bernardo Church Nepi
At the moment the church is not open to the public.
Address: Via Garibaldi – Nepi. Phone: . Opening times: N/A. Ticket price: Free. (Note that opening times and admission may be subject to change.)
History and description
Construction of the Church of San Bernardo started around 1560 and was finished in 1616. It was built at the site of a 15th century church, dedicated first to San Pancrazio and later to the Madonna dell’Immagine. This church had been demolished in 1542.
In 1618, work began on the Monastery. This coincided with the arrival of the Cistercian nuns from the Santa Susanna Church in Rome.
This enclosed religious order stayed in Nepi till the beginning of the 21st century, after which they returned to Rome.
The church consists of a single nave with a coffered ceiling. There is an altar on each side and a vaulted chapel in the back.
What to see
The main attraction of the church is the Madonna dell’Immagine fresco adorning the altar on the left. It is the only element that was preserved from the Madonna dell’Immagine Church and is also known as Madonna dei Somarari.
According to legend, a group farmers were playing a game called Ruzzola when they found a rock with an image of the Madonna sculpted on it. The bishop had the image brought to the Cathedral. The next morning, it was gone from the Cathedral, but reappeared in the monastery. Three times, it was returned to the Cathedral, but the result was the same every day, so in the end it was decided to leave the Madonna dell’Immagine in the convent.