The Church and Undergrounds

of Sant’Andrea

In the Collegiate Church of Saints Andrew and Bartholomew, usually named Church of Saint Andrew by the Orvietani, possibly the most ancient one in Orvieto, it is possible to pre-book an underground guided visit, that represents an interesting complement to the underground Orvieto experience. The church basement confirms that this place of worship dates back a long time; it underwent renovation several times until the early twentieth century, when the bell tower underwent deep transformation and the crypt hosts a multitude of findings dating back from as early as the ninth century b.C. to the twelfth century A.D. when the Collegiate Church that we can see today was built.

Through a compelling archaeological narration, you can go back to four important stages of the city’s history in a limited area, each marked by the traces of the findings that were brought to light: the remote Villanovian dwellings, the forum of the Etruscan town, the Paleo-Christian basilica moved from Bolsena to Orvieto after the Episcopal Seat was transferred to Orvieto (sixth century), with the marvellous remains of the original mosaic flooring, the underground structure of the Collegiate Church.

Book your visit in advance, you will not be disappointed! 

The Church of Sant’Andrea and San Bartolomeo

Built on the side of the Palazzo Comunale, defining de space that from Piazza della Repubblica goes to Corso Cavour, the Church of Sant’Andrea, which complete name is “Colleggiata dei Santi Andrea e Bartolomeo“, makes the oldest part of christian cult in Orvieto, since it was built during the sixth century on top of the preexisting etruscan ruins.

The Orvietani simply call it “Sant’Andrea”. It has always been a fundamental point in the everyday life of a citizen. If in the past, before the Duomo was built, it was of great importance in religious and political life of the city, it is still nowadays. In 1125, for example, the supporters of the Church decided to oppose the imperials; in 1216 Pope Innocent III prayed the crussade; in 1217 the first mayor of Orvieto, San Pietro Parenzo, was named Saint after being killed by heretics in 1199.

In 1281, with the presence of Carlo d’Angiò, Martin IV was coronated. In the same year he held a consistory in which Benedetto Caetani di Anagni was nominated cardinal, the future Bonifacio VIII. Here were signed peace acts, hung war trophies, and publicated feud divisions.
Nowadays, in the Sant’Andrea are celebrated other functions, as well as funeral rites. In its neighborhood, local and national politics are discussed. On the stairs on the outside, as well as on the Duomo, you will see students and tourists sitting. From here, every 14th of August the important Santa Maria Assunta is celebrated, patron of the town Orvieto.


Piazza della Repubblica

Visite su prenotazione
Chiamare 328 1911316

dal Lunedì al Sabato ore 9.00 – 17.00
Domenica ore 14.00 – 17.0

5 euro a persona

Le visite sono sospese durante gli eventi religiosi
Sono esclusi dal costo tutti i ragazzi da 0 a 18 anni, le guide ufficiali della Regione Umbria e tutte le categorie di disabili con accompagnatore gratuito.
I sotterranei della Collegiata sono visitabili con Archeologo dr. Francesco Pacelli.

After the paleochristian period, at the same time as the development of the Medieval City, the building of the Church was enlarged in the area of the apse. Also a double transept was made, which is held by mixtilineal pillars on which are positiond pointed archs. It is in this period that the Church gets its predominant architechtural forms and lines, which can refer to the Romanic Art period. The latter decorations and transformations, are a lot, and all difficult to track because of the restorations of Gustavo Giovannoni that were made between 1926 and 1930.

The facade with four slopings, tripartite in pilasters and with a central rose window, is the result of an intervention from the fifteenth century. In the central part, the new doors in red marble where installed, made by Vito di Marco da Siena, who followed a drawing of Maestro Vetrino, and due to give it a bigger effect, it was imbed in a grey frame of basaltina stone. The sculptures of the portals lunette, made by Antonietta Paoli Polignani, were installed with the restoration during the twentieth century with Giovannoni, as well as the stained glass rose window made my Ilario Ciaurro, who also made the majolicas and the terracottas for the doors on the side of the building. Together with Giovannonis restoration we have to mention the actual structure of the clock tower: with its dodecagonal map the same as the tower of Badia of the SS. Martirio e Severo, with decorations and three lines of mullioned windows, divided by small columns in lombard style, looked before like a real religious clock tower with a cross on top of it.

Inside the Sant’Andrea, vast and airy, has a basilica like map, with three big naves divided by monolitic columns, coronated by capitals in a classic style. The presbytery, slightly lifted up and the square apse completes the building.
The covering of the naves is by wooden trusses, and in the presbiterial aerea, which was amplified and modified during the fourteenth century, we see slender cross vaults. The roof was reconstructed, after it collapsed in the beginning of the sixteenth century.
In this mystic and suggestive atmosphere you will discover testimonies from every era: from the cosmatesque pulpit to a sepulchral niche from the beginning of the fourteenth century. From austere frescos from the fourteenth century to elaborate paintings of the sixteenth century, including the Annunciazione from Cesare Nebbia and two paintings which were done by his student Angelo Righi da Orvieto, all the way to the Sacra Famiglia by Alessandro Franchi made in 1895. If you have the chance, don’t miss to attend and listen to one of the free concerts that are held often in this place: the acoustic of the Collegiata is infact extraordinary and the atmosphere of the whole thing together can’t not give you particular emotions.

17° C
poche nuvole