Key to Umbria: Perugia

Chiesa della SS Annunziata (1814)

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This was the site of ancient parish church that was dedicated to San Bartolomeo, which was first documented in 1163.  The site to the left became the home of two important institutions:

  1. The Confraternita della Santissima Annunziata, which had been formed in 1334 and was associated with the Servites of Santa Maria dei Servi, established it oratory here.

  2. In 1387, Giovanna di Ceccolo, the widow of Guelfino Baglioni and a tertiary Franciscan, gave a nearby house to a certain Monna Simona, and she established a community there dedicated to the rehabilitation of ex-prostitutes.  This subsequently became a Servite nunnery known as the Monastero di Monna Simona or delle Povere, which expanded around the Oratorio della SS Annunziata.

The Confraternita della Santissima Annunziata established the Monastero di Santa Maria Maddalena delle Convertite  in Via del Parione in 1562.

The parish was suppressed in 1615, at which point the church became the subject of a dispute between the nuns and the confraternity.  Bishop Napoleone Comitoli initially refused to find in favour of either party and took over the church until 1641, when the dispute was finally settled.  (The adjoining Case della Parrocchia housed the newly arrived Oratorian fathers until they moved to the site of San Filippo Neri).

The old church was demolished at this point and the confraternity built a new one, which was dedicated as SS Annunziata and had a fresco of the Annunciation on its facade.  It was demolished in 1810 when the nuns' community was suppressed and their nunnery converted into apartments. 

When the nuns returned in 1814, the fabric of their nunnery was restored and the church was rebuilt.  Their community was definitively suppressed in 1860.

  1. The ex-nunnery subsequently passed to Conservatorio Musicale di Francesco Morlacchi, whose auditorium (sometimes open for concerts) is in the nuns' old refectory.  It also houses a cultural association, the Istituto Giancarlo Conestabile della Staffa e Luigi Piastrelli.

  2. The church, which is now de-consecrated, is occasionally open for lectures or concerts.

Interior of the Church

Frescoes (1878-1901)

The frescoes of the church are by Domenico Bruschi.  Those in the apse depict:

  1. the apocalyptic vision of St John on Patmos, in the lunette; and

  2. the Visitation of the Virgin to St Elizabeth, the soon-to-be mother of of St John the Baptist;

  3. the Annunciation; and

  4. the Annunciation to Zacharius of the birth of St John the Baptist

Those in the nave depict scenes from the Old Testament.  They include this one, which depicts Hannah presenting her God-given son, Samuel at the Temple.   This is Bruschi’s last known work and contains his self-portrait (at the extreme right).

Read more:

C. Pizzoni, “La Confraternita dell’ Annunziata in Perugia”, in:

  1. Il Movimento dei Disciplinati nel Settimo Centenario dal suo Inizio: Atti del Convegno Internazionale”, (1962) Perugia, pp 146-55

See also: Other Oratories in Perugia.

Return to Monuments of Perugia.

Return to Walk II.