Key to Umbria: Bettona

Sant’ Andrea (14th Century)

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The oratory was and still is the seat of the Confraternita di Sant’ Andrea.  It was reconstructed in the 15th century, when an adjacent hospice (to the left in this photograph) was built.  The oratory has been re-modeled on a number of subsequent occasions and most of the surviving fabric dates to the 18th century.


A number of tombs of members of the confraternity were discovered during restoration work in 1885-7.  The confraternity administered a hospice for pilgrims traveling to and from to Rome along the Via Amerina.  This hospice, which was first documented early in the 14th century, stands on the remains of Etruscan buildings. 

The ground floor was the seat of the Monte Frumentario and the Monte di Pietà, which were established in 1491 by the Franciscan, Blessed Andrea da Faenza.  The ex-hospice now houses the Relais La Corte di Bettona.

The small garden above on the left (as you leave the church) used to be the cemetery for executed criminals or those who had committed suicide.

Church Interior

Visits to the oratory can be arranged at the Pinacoteca Civica,

The oratory has a fine wooden ceiling (1583) decorated with intaglio roses by Benedetto da Montepulciano.  The original plan to gild it was never carried out.

The gilded tomb under the altar [is it still there ??]  contains the relics of the Blessed Pietro di Negles, a Portuguese hermit and pilgrim worked at the hospice before retiring to live as a hermit.  He died in 1405 and is patron saint of Bettona.

Passion of Christ  (1394)

These frescoes on the left wall of the oratory, which were discovered in 1987, are dated by inscription.   They depict:
  1. Christ washing the feet of the Disciples; and

  2. the road to Calvary.

Other fragments from the original cycle survive on the right wall.

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