Much ink, paper and film has been spent on persuading the English to like Baroque architecture. While I concede that Bernini and Borromini have their place in the universe, I remain uninspired by the one-size-fits-all Baroque makeover that has been inflicted on many Marchigiane churches.
There are still some Romanesque churches around. I find their simplicity far more spiritual than the somehow perfunctory decorations of many later church interiors. A few suggestions follow.
One less well-known church is in the small town of San Lorenzo in Campo, on the Pergolese road.
San Gervasio di Bulgaria is another church in the Cesano valley, east of S Lorenzo, on the Pergolese road, below Mondolfo, on the right as you go towards Marotta.
Badia di San Pietro is above Portonovo in the regional park of the Conero, a beautiful, fairly unspoiled, hilly oasis on the edge of Ancona city.
The abbey is now a hotel, but the church is still a working church and open to the public. Here is a picture of a conference at the hotel.
The “chiesetta” (little church), as it is known, of Santa Maria di Portonovo, is simple and beautiful.
It was recently restored by “Italia Nostra” (the Italian equivalent of the English National Trust) and is now sometimes open as a working church again. Concerts also take place here. Parking at Portonovo in summer is a nightmare and a serious problem for the authorities; come out of season.
Ancona’s cathedral, San Ciriaco, also has a simple and dignified Romanesque interior. Climb up to it and enjoy the fantastic views.
San Vittore delle Chiuse is in Genga, a short walk from the Frasassi caves.
- Capital capitals at Peterborough (spabscholarsandfellows.wordpress.com)