THe San Salvatore Church is, together with the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral, the most important church in Vasanello in the province of Viterbo. The last king of the Etruscans might be buried underneath its bell tower.
San Salvatore Church Vasanello
Address: Via della Ceramica Misciatelli, 15 – Vasanello. Phone: Not available. Opening times: Apparently the church is only rarely open. Ticket price: Free.
History and description
All of the churches in the historical center of Vasanello have their facade facing east. This is also the case with the San Salvatore Church.
The church already existed in the 11th century. An epigraph on the right wall refers to a priest called Domenico who was buried inside the church.
The church used to have a portico, but this was demolished in the 13th century, when the campanile was constructed. During a restoration in 1909, the capitals that used to crown the columns were brought to light.
A reconstruction that had taken place in 1853 needed to be undone in the 1940s. The barrel vaults that had been added during this reconstruction had caused severe damage and the church was in danger of collapsing.
The church consists of three naves separated by peperino (a volcanic stone common in the area) columns. The presbytery is raised.
What to see
The apse contains a 14th century white marble tabernacle. On its right wall there is a “Madonna della Rondine with Child and Saints”.
The altar rests on a ancient (7th or early 8th century) Roman milestone (cippus). The front is decorated with a Latin cross, the left side with two animals.
The Madonna fresco in the aedicula was painted in 1878 by the local artist Filippo Scarelli. It is the central piece of a big panel with seven frescoed pictures dating back to the 16th century.
The 15th century frescoes next to the second entrance were probably painted by Domenico Velandi.
The campanile has six floors and a height of 28 meters. The three busts to the right of the entrance are probably of Roman origin. According to legend Elvio, the last king of the Etruscans, is buried underneath the tower.