photo © Louise Shapcott
Churches of Casalattico
Church of San Barbato
The main church of Casalattico is dedicated to San Barbato Vescovo di Benevento. It is said that during the 7th century he took part in converting the Lombards to the Christian faith, by opposing their pagan cults and superstitions linked to the worship of idols, trees and animals such as the viper. The first church is thought to date back to the first centuries of the second millennium, however it was not officially documented until 1305. The building we see today was built in 1517. The bell tower was adapted from one of the old Medieval watch towers that defended the town. The church was extensively restored and renovated over the centuries, often due to the result of earthquakes which struck the area of the Val di Comino.
The interior of the church has three naves, the central one covered with barrel vaulting while the side naves are covered with cross vaults. The transept has a chapel on the left with the choir dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament. In a niche stands the statue of San Barbato, the work of Lucas Coriniis which dates from 1712. This is solemnly carried in procession through the village on the 19th February of each year on the saint’s feast day.
There is also a statue of the Immacolata sculpted by Columbus in 1703. The church also houses an oil painting depicting “Purgatory and the Assumption” dating from the 16th century, a triptych in oil on wood, of which only the lateral paintings of San Carlo Borromeo and San Pietro Martire remain. The wooden pipe organ was created by the Catarinozzi family and dates from 1695. The instrument underwent a complete restoration in 2003.
Church of San Nazario
The Church of San Nazario is located on the site of the former Benedictine monastery, which was located on the left bank of the Melfa river. The monastery was in existence for many centuries before being abandoned in the 16th century.
Today all that remains is a small private church which belongs to the Fusco family. It has been well looked after and cared for, the last restoration having taken place in 1980.
A procession takes place during the third week of August when from the church of Sant’Agostino, the Madonna del Carmine is carried in a procession to the church of San Nazario. Here it is kept for a week, during which a Mass is celebrated every day, and it is then brought back to the church of San Nazario.
Church of Sant’Agostino
The Church of Sant’Agostino, located in the Macchia district. It was dedicated to Sant’Agostino in 1794. The church that was commissioned by Don Giovanni Matassa. It houses some life-size frescoes and the 17th century wooden statue of the Saint. The feast of Sant’Agostino is celebrated on the last Sunday of August. In the week before the festival, the statue of the Madonna del Carmine is brought out of the church and is carried during a procession to the church of San Nazario. Here it remains for a period of a week, during which Mass is celebrated each day. Then the statue is carried back to the church of Sant’Agostino.
Church of the Madonna degli Angeli
The Church of the Madonna degli Angeli dates back to the 15th century and is located in the Sant’Andrea district of Casalattico.
Ruined Church of San Gennaro
Ruined Church of San Gennaro dates back to the 15th century. It is located a few meters from the Roman bridge that crosses the Melfa (which is also the border between the municipalities of Casalvieri and Casalattico). Architectural finds suggest the presence of a much older settlement, perhaps pre-Roman, dedicated to the cult of springs (the Samnite sanctuary of Mefitis was located in Canneto near the source of the river Melfa).
My sincere thanks to Antonio Iacobelli of the Facebook group: Casalvieri e dintorni: angoli nascosti
for kindly sharing his expert local knowledge and his photos.
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