The Shrine of San Pietro (St. Peter)


The shrine of San Pietro (St. Peter) is located on the western hillside of Paratico in a charming rural landscape dotted mainly by vineyards. Up until 1575 this shrine (also known as Madonna del Buon Consiglio (Our Lady of Good Counsel) for the image object of devotion) acted as the parish church. The 15th Century origin is confirmed by a fresco of Suffering Christ dated 1444, detached and now displayed at the Museo di Santa Giulia in Brescia, and the presence, inside, of other fragments of frescoes attributed to the 15th Century. The current structure is the result of a radical reconstruction that began between 1730 and 1740. In 1855 the church was further expanded with the construction of two rooms to the side of the sanctuary.

The entrance is elevated compared to the churchyard: six Sarnico stone steps pave the way for visitors under a six column pronaos. The interior has a single nave divided into two small bays. The vault is frescoed with scenes from the life of St. Peter, created shortly after the middle of the 18th Century. The side altars, the work of an unknown plastic artist of the third quarter of the 18th Century, offer different solutions in the design of the magnificent architectural frame in white and gilded plaster. The fine white plaster statues of the Evangelists are positioned on the two altars, the opulence of which can be seen in the abundance of the drapery.

At the far end of the sanctuary there is the 18th Century wooden high altar with two wooden arches that gave access to the choir stall. The fresco of Our Lady of Good Counsel on the altar is the work of an unknown artist of the 16th Century with a rather classic style. The evident repainting, however, makes any analysis and attribution rather difficult. At the end of the apse there is a 17th Century painting, formerly attributed to Antonio Cifrondi, depicting St. Peter healing the sick. Recent studies seem to refuse this attribution, therefore the question of the authorship of the painting is still open.

Every year, on 8th of December, the feast of the “Madonna dei Pom” (Madonna of the apples) is celebrated, during which the statue of the Madonna (the work of a craftsman from Val Gardena (Gardena valley) ), is usually placed to the left of the main entrance. Legend has it that 8 December is the day on which Eve offered the cursed ‘apple’ to Adam. In ancient times, on this date the local youngsters used to offer an apple to the girls which, if accepted, opened the way to marriage in a not so distant future. The festival has become a feast that is packed with attractions.

 

Massimo Rossi

Iniziativa realizzata nell’ambito del bando Wonderfood & Wine di Regione Lombardia e Unioncamere Lombardia per la promozione di Sapore inLOMBARDIA

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