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Pieve San Michele Arcangelo

Street and number Via tre Martiri, Isola Maggiore
City Tuoro sul Trasimeno
Country ITA

Written down as existing as far back as 1136, the Pieve of San Michele Arcangelo, dedicated to the Archangel Michael, was built at the highest point of the island. In its current form, it dates more probably to the thirteenth century.

The door on the right side, usually open, gives onto a single-nave building with round arches. The roof is gabled, with the façade ending in a bell-gable. One of the bells is marked with the date 1291.

The most interesting features are to be found in the interior, decorated with ancient works of art, most particularly the Mary with Child fresco, to the left of the side door, which dates back to 1280-1290 and is the work of a painter known as the “Master of the Marzolini Triptych”. The remains of other two frescoes, facing the first one, depict the Assumption of the Virgin with Four Angels (circa 1290) and a Mary in Majesty (circa 1305), at the hands of early admirers of Cimabue, in the first case, and of Giotto, in the second, made in the style of the Assisi Basilica’s frescoes. The last section of the left wall houses a Deposition from 1446.

Finally, facing the nave, on the wall section sometimes called the “arc of triumph”, a vast Annuciation, of which only Mary remains, must have commanded attention. Around the same time as it was being painted, the church commissioned from artist Bartolomeo Caporali a wooden painted cross (circa 1460-1465).

The cross, a fine work of art, is now above the main altar, but this cannot be its original position given that the space was previously occupied by the polyptych by Sano di Pietro, now hanging in the island heritage centre.

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