The Santa Maria Nuova Church is situated on the Via Pinturicchio in the Porta Sole district of Perugia. The church was built in the 13th century and rededicated two centuries late. The highlight is the Cappella del Crocifisso with trompe-l’oeil paintings.
Santa Maria Nuova Church Perugia
Address: Via Pinturicchio, 78 – 06122 Perugia. Phone: +39 075 5720631. The church is only open on Sundays, before and after the 17:30 Mass.
History and Description
It is a 13th century parish church given to the Silvestrian Order at the beginning of the 14th century. In 1540, after the construction of the Rocca Paolina and the concomitant destruction of the Santa Maria dei Sevi, it was given to the Servites and subsequently received its current name.
The entrance gate and the two accolade arches on the left side are left over from the original church, while the entrance gate near the façade dates from the 16th century. The steps leading to this gate were built 2 centuries later.
The interior is built in the late Renaissance style.
Works of art in the Santa Maria Nuova Church
The organ dates from the end of the 16th century.
Bassotti, Amadei, Appiani and Mazzi took care of the decorations of the central nave and the columns.
The first chapel on the right is called the Cappella del Crocifisso. From this chapel one enters the oratory of the Crocifisso fraternity, which is decorated with trompe l’oeil paintings by Pietro Carattoli.
The 2nd altar is the Altar “del Gonfalone”. On the gonfalone (a richly decorated flag suspended from the horizontal part of a cross) for which this chapel is named, the decoration is quite elaborate: “Jesus throwing lightning at Perugia and Mary with Saints Benedetto and Scolastica and the Blessed Paolo Bigazzini trying to appease the Divine Wrath” (1471).
A 16th century canopy.
The altar of the Oltremontani, with statues that bore San Luigi di Francia and Sant’Enrico di Germania. The Oltremontani (“Those from over the Mountains”) was a community of French and Germans in Perugia.
In the chapel in the apse are 14th century frescoes, along with a wooden sarcophagus by Braccio I Baglioni.
Formerly, three works by Perugino were also on display in the church. The “Adoration of the Magi” and the “Pala Signorelli” are now on display in the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, while the “Madonna and Child between Saints Guglielmo and Francisco” is in London’s National Gallery.
Santa Maria Nuova Monastery
The Santa Maria Nuovo Monastery was built in 1540 to replace the Santa Maria dei Servi church, which was razed to the ground when the Rocca Paolina was built. On Via Pinturicchio 87, a 16th century cloister of this monastery can be seen, with brick arches supported by travertine columns. The campanile was erected in 1644 and was probably made after an original project by Galeazzo Alessi.
Santa Maria Nuovo Church, What to see nearby
At Via del Roscetto 21 is the Oratory of San Benedetto, built by Valentino Martelli in 1598 and embellished by Salvucci in 1610.