Monteleone: tra Rito & Mito

Home >  The Town > Churches > Church


Church of St. Erasmus in Trivio

Typology: Rural church
Chronology: XVI Century
The Church of St. Erasmus in Trivio, founded in the mid-sixteenth century, has a Greek cross plan with two side chapels. It preserves Sixteenth-century frescoes (nave and apse) and reuses blocks of a nearby Roman building and a stone holy water with engraved stylized motifs.
The Church of St. Erasmus in Trivio (district of Monteleone di Spoleto) (festivity on June 2nd), derives its name from a crossroads of three roads. Established in the mid-sixteenth century on a previous building, from a Roman building whose blocks were reused during the construction and a headless woman statue, preserved at the Convent of Saint Francis. The main portal is surmounted by a Renaissance gable, while the side door has the inscription "1540" with a monogram of Christ "YHS". The plan is a Greek cross, and at the beginning of the left wall there is the pictorial fragment of a Saint dated on "1586". Other contemporary fragments of frescoes emerge alongside (a figure seated on a throne, S. Rocco and S. Giorgio). The altars of the side chapels are dedicated to the Saints Pasquale, Rocco and Sebastiano and to Our Lady of the Rosary. The apse is frescoed in 1560 with the Trinity between clouds and angels. There is a stone for the holy water with engraved stylized motifs.

The Church of St. Erasmus in Trivio (district of Monteleone di Spoleto), depending on the Parish Church of San Nicola whose festivity is on June 2nd, is founded in the mid-sixteenth century on a previous building, on the top of a hill already popular in antiquity. The name "Il Trivio" (in Latin “trivium” and in ancient Italic “trebbio”) derives from the presence of a crossroad of three roads, one of them is an important road connecting Via Flaminia and the Italic sanctuary of San Silvestro.
The building has a long, narrow barrel vaulted nave, which is opened in the middle by two rectangular side chapels. The plant is a kind of a Greek cross, which is not well noticeable externally because of the incorporation of other buildings, used as sacristy and rectory. The main door is surmounted by a typical Renaissance pediment, while the side door has the inscription "1540" and the monogram "YHS" (with overlying sign of abbreviation), indicating Christ name, according to an use that emerged from the first half of the fifteenth century with San Bernardino of Siena. The facade is gabled and in 1948 the memorial of the victims of Trivio in the First World War is affixed to it. On the right side of the building there is a modern bell tower that replaces a previous flat belfry. During Lascaris visit (1712) the church has two altars, one is the main altar and the other is that of Our Lady of the Rosary, the latter belongs to the homonym Confraternity founded by San Nicola in the sixteenth century. There is also the altar of the left chapel, dedicated to St. Pasquale, Rocco and Sebastiano, who are painted in the canvas.
In the apse there is a sculpture in plaster representing St. Erasmus in bishop's dress while in the apse there are beautiful frescoes, framed at the top by a fake raised curtain and at the bottom by fruit festoons. The Holy Trinity placed between clouds and angels is of 1560. The focus of the painting is the Eternal Father, represented as an old bearded seated man, who supports the cross on which Christ was nailed. Between the Father and the Son there is the dove of the Holy Spirit. At the beginning of the left wall there is a saint with chalice and host, standing in a field with a drapery in the background. At the bottom of the fresco there is the date "1586". Alongside, other fragments of frescoes to be referred to the same sixteenth century are emerged, including a figure seated on a throne, San Rocco and San Giorgio separated by a painted frame in fake plaster with vegetal elements.
In the church there is a stone for blessed water, which was created to be walled on one side and in the other three sides presents some hieratic engraved designs: the dove of the Holy Spirit, stylized floral motifs and a fish. It is probably a relic of the oldest church (cited in a manuscript of 1393) or it comes from the Church of Saint Gregory "of Tregio". Only some names of the many chaplains of St. Erasmo are known. In 1698 there was the spiritual treasurer D. Benedetto Vittoriani, along with D. Domenico de Rossi (or De Rubeis), founder of the chapel of Saint Lucia; in 1706 it was the turn of Felice D. Polozzi, followed in 1710 by the spiritual treasurer Peter D. Peroni and In 1712 the Augustinian canon Nicholas D. Simonetti of Cascia. From 1717 to 1731 the church was officiated by the curate of St. Nicola, D. Antonio Reali, followed in the years 1768-82 by D. Giuseppe Boccanera. The presence on site of a Roman building is attested by large square blocks and by a feminine headless statue, now preserved in the lapidary in the cloister of the convent of San Francesco at Monteleone. It is erroneous instead the attribution to this place of the Latin inscription of Titus Varrutio (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum XI, 5006), moreover ruined and reused from the late fifteenth century in a jamb of Sant'Emiliano church portal in Trevi (PG).