Fiesole Cathedral

The Cathedral of Saint Romulus (Italian: San Romolo di Fiesole) is a roman catholic church in Fiesole, Tuscany, central Italy. Dedicated to Saint Romulus of Fiesole, the Romanesque edifice was founded in Fiesole in 1028, when bishop Jacopo the Bavarian, decided to move the cathedral within the city's walls, dedicating it to St. Romulus, who had introduced the Christianism in Fiesole. It is the see of the Diocese of Fiesole.


The church is on the basilica plan with a nave and two aisles separated by stone columns with capitals which are decorated with figures and animals. It has a raised presbytery over the crypt and trussed ceiling. The picturesque battlemented campanile was built in to 1213. The church was restored in 1256.

The interior is not much decorated, aside from the marble altar (1273) and two frescoes, depicting St. Benedict (c. 1420) and St. Sebastian by Pietro Perugino (late 15th century). In the presbytery is a polyptych of the Three stories of Saint Nicholas, by Bicci di Lorenzo, commissioned in 1450. In the Salutati Chapel is the funerary monument of bishop Leonardo Salutati, executed by Mino da Fiesole. In the Canon's Chapel is a marble altar by Andrea Ferrucci (1492-1494).

In the counter-fa├žade is a huge statue of St. Romulus, by Giovanni della Robbia (1521). The crypt's small columns have 11th century capitals, perhaps taken from the original construction. The decoration includes late Gothic medallions on the vault, while on the left wall is a cycle of the Stories of St. Romulus by Domenico Ghirlandaio's school. The bishops' funerary chapel has a 13th century icon attributed to one "Master of Bigallo", portraying the Madonna with Child (1215-1220).

Badia of Fiesole

The old cathedral was built, according to the tradition, to cover the site of the martyrdom of St. Romulus. Situated lower down on the hill-side, the church was converted into an Benedictine abbey and became known as the "Badia di Fiesole". The edifice was rebuilt in 1466 by a disciple of Filippo Brunelleschi. Its facade of the XI century is still preserved. It contains notable early works of Mino da Fiesole. The abbey was closed in 1778.


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