Photographer's Note

Rock complex of Santa Lucia - Bomarzo (VT)

The rock church of Santa Lucia is located in the locality of the same name, on the east side of the Pianmiano plateau, already frequented in prehistoric times, where traces of attendance in Etruscan and Roman times have been found, perhaps this town can be identified with the mentioned Statonia in the sources.
The small hermit complex is located about halfway up a steep slope that slopes down to the Tiber, on the border with the Umbrian region.
No sources have been found in this regard, therefore the analysis of the site must be limited to what remains of it and to relatively recent news.
The Santa Lucia complex is divided into two nuclei: a masonry forepart and a large natural cave
with several branches.
The forepart is divided into different environments, the one located to the left of the cave is in turn divided into two parts, probably constituting a small hermitage. The room leaning against the slope was divided into two floors and closed by walls on three sides, only partially preserved, while the back wall is made up of the natural rock of the slope, hidden by a thick layer of plaster. This room was accessed from a large portal, of which only the left jamb remains. There are signs of combustion, it was probably used as a shelter by shepherds until relatively recently.
The next room is a sort of atrium to the church, it was completely decorated with paintings, in part illegally removed: in two niches on the back wall the figures of San Bernardino da Siena and Santa Lucia were portrayed, stolen between 1985 and 1988 The monogram of San Bernardino between phytomorphic spirals remains in situ in the second niche, an inscription with the name of the client can be read in Gothic characters, fortunately spared from the tear: THIS. LA. DONE. FI (OR) E (N) ZO. DE. CISIL. The presence of San Bernardino, proclaimed a saint in 1450, allows us to consider this date as a post quem deadline for the creation of the fresco.
At the base of the second niche there are traces of a masonry structure, an eighteenth-century aedicule documented in 1979 and demolished a few years later.
Another image of Saint Lucia between two angels, now almost completely lost, could be glimpsed in the arch above the entrance to the cave. It featured on the right side the coats of arms of the Orsini and, probably, of the Alviani, families who joined in kinship in 1477, this date could be a post quem term for the fresco.
On the left wall is still in situ, but barely legible a Crucifixion, defaced by vandal writings. At the foot of the Crucifix, the figures of the Madonna and San Giovanni are barely visible.
The entrance to the cave, originally a high natural cleft, is partly filled with rough stones bonded with mortar, thus creating an arch with a rectangular window above it.
The central environment consists of a large room with an irregular floor plan with few readjustments: the vault and the walls of the cave have remained essentially in their natural state, the ground has been artificially leveled, in the central part of the room; a staircase of six stone steps, currently underground, bridged the difference in height with the forepart.
There was the altar, leaning against a wall that closed the space between the wall and a large stalactite formation.
The masonry pillar that supported the table remains in place, consisting of a monolithic block of travertine, currently undermined and dragged near the entrance. On the stretch of wall immediately above the altar, there are traces of unreadable frescoes, a floral decoration and an unrecognizable figure.
A faux marble decoration is depicted on an imposing block of rock that hangs from the ceiling.
Behind the altar, a slightly uphill ramp, which then continues with a staircase of four steps, leads to a small raised natural terrace, which leads to a room bordered by a wall onto which a small door with a travertine architrave opens. bounded by a frame of tuff blocks.
At the bottom of the main room there is a very narrow tunnel, the entrance of which is partly blocked by a low semicircular wall, which delimits a sort of platform.

ikeharel, Fis2, jhm, pierrefonds, PiotrF, COSTANTINO, jemaflor, mcmtanyel has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 19355 W: 130 N: 40960] (217217)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2021-10-03
  • Exposure: f/0.1, 30 seconds
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2021-10-05 1:23
Viewed: 0
Points: 32
  • None
Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 19355 W: 130 N: 40960] (217217)
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