Key to Umbria: Città di Castello

St Floridus (13th November)

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St Flordus

Detail of a panel (1412)

attributed to Giacomo di Ser Michele Castellano

Museo del Duomo

St Floridus is mentioned as the source for the accounts of two saints in the Dialogues of Pope Gregory I:

  1. St Herculanus, whom “the virtuous Bishop Floridus” described as “the great holy man ..., the Bishop of Perusia, who brought me up”; and

  2. St Amantius, a priest, whom “Floridus, Bishop of Tivoli (sic) ... a man ... of holy life and worthy to be credited ... had dwelling with”.

The first duomo, which local tradition says was dedicated as Santo Stefano, was apparently destroyed by Totila in the 6th century.  St Floridus is credited with building the new duomo, which he dedicated as San Lorenzo. 

The earliest known legend, the Vita Floridi (BHL 3062), was written in 1077 by Canon Arnolfo of Arezzo.  This relates that, when SS Floridus and Amantius returned to Città di Castello from Perugia, they found it in ruins.  St Floridus organised the rebuilding of the city and was consecrated as its bishop in ca. 580 by Pope Pelagius II.  As he approached death (traditionally in 599), he moved with St Amantius to Pieve de’ Saddi (now in the Commune of Pietralunga, some 10 km from Città di Castello), and built a house on the burial site of St Crescentian.  He died there on 13th November, attended by three bishops:

  1. Laurence of Arezzo;

  2. Leontius of Urbino; and

  3. “Habentius” of Perugia.

The last name is thought to have been a corruption of Venantius, the bishop of Perugia who received a letter from Gregory I in 604.

This standing figure of St Floridus is given pride of place in a series of statues (17th century) of local saints in Santa Maria di Belvedere.  It shows with an angel who bears the arms of Città di Castello.

Relics of St Floridus


The relics of St Floridus are preserved under the Altare dei Corpi Santi the crypt, which is directly under the crossing of the church above. The inscriptions on the front of  it (illustrated above) record that Bishop Peter (PETRVS) placed them here in the 11th century and that they were recognised on two subsequent occasions:

  1. in 1540, by Bishop Alessandro Filodori (ALXA), following the rebuilding of the Duomo; and

  2. in 1793, by Bishop Pietro Boscarini (PETR), four years after the earthquake that destroyed the original altar.


The inscriptions on the back of the altar list the saints whose relics were placed here by the canons of the Duomo: not only St Floridus and St Amantius, but also four of the so-called Martyrs of Saddi.


The reliquary is inside a stone sarcophagus under the altar.  The inscription on the back of it reads:





Here lie the blessed bones of Bishop Floridus

and the bodies of other saints

With them is the body of St Amantius

Here, all who ask shall find salvation

Read more:

P. Licciardello, “La Vita Sancti Floridi di Arnolfo Diacono (BHL 3062)”, Bollettino della Deputazione di Storia Patria per l’ Umbria, 101:1 (2004) 141-209

Return to Saints of Città di Castello.