The Church of San Giovanni in Nepi was built in the 16th century. This sparsely decorated church was constructed for a brotherhood whose main aim was to give poor people decent burials.
San Giovanni Church Nepi
Address: Piazza San Giovanni, 7 – Nepi. Phone: +39 339 7299274. Visits are only possible by appointment, with a guide.
History and description
The inauguration of the San Giovanni Church in Nepi took place in 1566. The church is owned by the Confraternity of San Giovanni Decollato, which had been founded in 1551. The aim of this brotherhood was to make sure that those who could not afford, or, such as condemned criminals, were not allowed to get proper religious burials, would get one anyway. Main founders of the brotherhood were the Celsi family.
An inscription on the lintel testifies that the facade was reconstructed in 1850.
Construction lasted from 1553 to 1564. The church consists of a single nave, with a raised presbytery. The decorations inside the church are minimal. Of the artists having contributed paintings to the church, nothing is known.
What to see
The terracotta floor is the original one, laid in the 16th century.
There are some traces of 16th century frescoes on the side walls.
The high altar consists of a wooden structure, with a 17th century painting of “John the Baptist”. The original 16th century fresco, also depicting the saint, can still be seen behind the altar.
The Altar of San Carlo Borromeo on the left wall was commissioned by the Celsi family. The painting adorning the altar depicts the saint himself, who had worked as an administrator for the local Bishopric.
The 17th century wooden altar on the right wall is decorated with an “Our Lady of Constantinople”. Locals have given this painting the nickname “Madonna of the Mad Ones” (Madonna dei Matti). On the 2nd Sunday of May, a folklorist festival is celebrated in her honor.