The Romanesque style Santo Stefano Church is located off the main street of Orvieto, the Corso Cavour. The biggest point of interest of this windowless church is a collection of 13th to 15th century frescoes.
Santo Stefano Church Orvieto
History and description
The entrance to the Chiesa di Santo Stefano is in the Vicolo di Santo Stefano. Its origins date back to the 13th century. The church is dedicated to Saint Stephen, who served the apostles and was stoned to death.
The church is made of a volcanic kind of stone called tufa (“tuff”).
The interior consists of a single nave. Arches below the ceiling divide the space into four bays, the last one corresponding to the presbytery.
The frescoes are all found in the presbytery area. They were painted between the 13th and 15th centuries, by local artists.
What to see
The central wall fresco depicts Santo Stefano. The two frescoes on the sides both depict the “Crucifixion” and both were painted in the 15th century.
The side walls show two more crucifixion-themed paintings. The first one depicts Christ with Santa Lucia and the Virgin Mary praying, while the second one depicts Mary and the Archangel Michael.
The only light entering the church comes though two small lancet openings in the back wall of the presbytery.