The San Pietro Apostolo Cathedral is located in the Piazza di San Pietro Apostolo in the historic center of Frascati. At first glance, the interior is very sober (almost all the frescoes were destroyed during World War II bombings), but the magnificent façade makes up for a lot.
San Pietro Apostolo Cathedral Frascati
The address of San Pietro Apostolo Cathedral is Piazza San Pietro – 00044 Frascati (tel. +39 069420238). Bus: Cotral from Anagnina. Opening hours: Unknown. Entrance fee: Free.
The San Pietro Apostolo Cathedral was built in the early 17th century by Ottaviano Nonni (nicknamed Il Mascherino, or “the Mask”).
To build the cathedral the Pope had contributed 1000 scudi, while other backers were found in the Municipality of Frascati, in private donations and in loans from religious and other institutions. When that was still not enough it was decided in 1608 to impose a tax on wine.
The magnificent facade, however, is by Girolamo Fontana and dates from the end of this century (1697-1700).
The four niches on the lower part of the façade contain statues depicting saints, while the two niches on the second level show San Pietro and San Paolo.
The two bell towers were added a lot later.
The interior is characterized by three naves and is in the shape of a Greek cross. There are 8 altars in the church.
Because of the bombing of Frascati, all the frescoes fell from the walls, so now one sees a rather dull white-painted ceiling.
What to see
Girolamo Fontana, the architect who designed the baroque-style facade, is himself buried inside the cathedral (near the baptismal font).
The high relief above the portal is by Bernardino Cametti. It depicts “Jesus scolding Peter for not believing enough”.
The 14th century canvas “Madonna del Gonfalone” is located in the Madonna del Gonfalone Chapel, which also contains some beautiful marble sculptures.
A “Madonna” in the cathedral was probably painted by Domenichino.
A marble memorial stone with a bronze coat of arms of the Stuart’s.
Above the main altar in the presbytery, there is a high relief between two Corinthian columns. It depicts the “Handing over of the Keys to Saint Peter”.