Key to Umbria: Gualdo Tadino

San Donato (1255)

Umbria:  Home   Cities    History    Art    Hagiography    Contact 


Gualdo Tadino:  Home    History    Art    Saints    Walks    Monuments    Museums


The original church of San Donato was part of a Benedictine abbey that  stood on the banks of the Flea, [in a suburb now known as Valle di Sopra].  According to tradition, the bodies of those who died in the fire that destroyed the first walled settlement of Gualdo in 1237 were buried here.

The church and abbey were rebuilt inside the walls of the new city in 1255: the inscription on the capital to the right on the side door of the church has been transcribed:


1255 AD, at the time of Pope Alexander IV

The abbey passed in commendam at some time in the 15th century, although the church continued to serve the parish. 

In 1766, the commendatory abbot of San Donato opposed a request by the friars of San Francesco to move the relics of the Blessed Martius from San Rocco (which was at that time under his administration) to San Francesco.  They thwarted his intention to translate them to San Donato by taking them, without authorisation, to their church.

The complex passed to the Seminario di Nocera Umbra at the end of the 18th century.  The adjacent abbey no longer survives.

The ceiling collapsed in 1914 and the interior of the church had to be completely restored.


The campanile was originally much higher but was damaged in the earthquake of 1751.  

The aqueduct that was built during the legation of Cardinal Antonio Ciocchi del Monte (1513-1533) feeds the fountain on the left wall.


The altars of the church were moved here from the suppressed church of Sant’ Agostino in 1922.

The font came from Santa Maria di Tadino in 1567.

Crucifixion with saints (17th century)

This panel on the right wall, which is attributed to Giovanni Francesco Guerrieri, depicts the crucifixion with SS Andrew and Catherine of Alexandria.  It belonged to the Confraternita del Crocefisso e Santa Caterina, and was originally in their church (ca. 1628) of Sant’ Andrea.  It was moved to San Donato in 1922, when the deconsecrated church of Sant’ Andrea was sold for residential use.