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Chiesa di Sant’Emiliano

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Trevi’s Cathedral or ‘Duomo’ is named after St Emiliano, the first bishop, martyr and patron of the city, whose stories are told in the Passio Sancti Miliani. An Armenian, he was sent to administer the local church but was persecuted and killed in 303, under Diocletian, on the olive tree now called precisely ‘di Sant’Emiliano’. The people of Trevi have always been very devoted to their patron saint, to the extent that in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the saint’s name was used to refer to Trevi itself or its inhabitants. The Patron’s Day Feast is held on 27th January and a moving and deeply-felt procession of the ‘Illuminata’ takes place the night before. The church towers over the city from the top of the hill where, according to legend, the temple of Diana Trivia stood; the oldest remains of the church date back to the 12th century and are represented by the three elegant apses and the statuette of the saint, placed above the 15th-century portal which is now walled up. In the 15th century, in fact, the church was enlarged by Lombard craftsmen: the main portal and the tympanum above it belong to this phase, depicting St Emiliano between two lions. The first is surrounded by a frame, made using a Roman tombstone, while the second was originally positioned on top of an altar in the town square, since the new priests stepped up onto it when they celebrated their first mass. The most important intervention was by the Roman architect Luca Carimini, who gave the church its present appearance in the second half of the 19th century.

The inside of the building is neoclassical in style and the cippus is kept there, in which the remains of St Emiliano were found; it also exhibits frescos from the 16th century: one in particular comes from a column in the Renaissance temple and is therefore called Madonna della Colonna and is attributed to Francesco Melanzio da Montefalco. There are two splendid altars: the Sacramento by Rocco da Vicenza (1521) and the Trinità (1585).

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