Parish church of San Vincenzo
The museum can be visited during the whole year, from 7.30 a.m. till the end of the Holy Mass of 6.30 p.m., except during the service.
Built by the Benedictines in the XI century in Romanesque style, the church was subject to multiple architectures one over the another, but also some significant modern restoration (1968 – 1972).
It is located on the structures of a Roman building, brought to light during recent restoration and which dates back to 300-400 A.D. It could have been a huge Patrician villa or a public building; it has a dual heating system using air blown under the floor, which was used to heat the “calidarium”.
Inside, there is a huge, clear contrast between the sobriety of the environment and the wealth of decorative paintings in the absidal area. The nave is divided into a succession of alternating columns in square, circular and polygonal shapes.
The church was originally without vaults (they date from 1696) and the current, large windows. The roof was held up by visible beams or the coffered ceiling and light used to pass discretely through the high, narrow, vaulted windows that are double recessed. The groin vaulted arch that overhangs the altar is fake, although rather old. The triumphant arch, probably in the XIII century, restricted the absidal area due to its framework and considerably reduced the area of the underneath crypt, a mystical, octagonal underground chapel with three small naves, each with three arches whose small, stone columns support capitals dating from the VIII century.
The oldest frescoes in the church are those in the north absidioles, by Iacopo Jacquerio (or his school), dated 1416. Also in the XV century Giacomino of Ivrea painted the triumphant arch with a cycle of doctors of the church, saints and prophets. Decorations were added over these paintings, which were dull and plastered, by Filippo da Varallo towards the end of the XVI century and are still visible today (partly, thanks to restorations in the Seventies), once covering the entire presbytery basin.
Christ on the Cross in the presbytery is a bronze work of art by Luciano Minguzzi.
There is a large quantity of religious art treasures in the museum of great rarity and importance.