Parish Church of San Giorgio di Valpolicella
For this week’s Italy Pic of the Day, we venture outside Verona to see the Parish Church of San Giorgio di Valpolicella.
Have you ever been alone in a dark church and had the lights suddenly go out? I have and it’s more than a bit unnerving! Especially when it’s a church built on what was once a pagan worship site like The Pieve di San Giorgio di Valpolicella!
Today’s Italy Pic of the Day shares details from inside the church I enjoyed seeing before the lights went out, and a tip of what to do if it ever happens to you.
History of the Parish Church of San Giorgio di Valpolicella
Dating back to the 7th-8th century, the Parish Church of San Giorgio di Valpolicella is one of the oldest religious sites in Verona.
“The Pieve di San Giorgio di Valpolicella (also called Pieve di San Giorgio Ingannapoltron) is an ancient parish church [that] was probably built on a place previously assigned to the pagan cult and dating back to the VIII century.”e-Borghi
Wait, what?! A pagan cult? I know! Imagine my surprise. After all the time I’ve spent exploring churches in Italy, this was the first time I had knowingly stood where pagan worship had once taken place. Something tells me I’ve just scratched the surface of this side of Italian history.
Pagan curiosity aside, for anyone who enjoys Romanesque architecture, The Pieve di San Giorgio di Valpolicella is undoubtedly one of the most interesting stops in the province of Verona. Join me for tomorrow’s Italy Pic of the Day to go inside The Pieve di San Giorgio. I’ll share more about the history of the church, plus an anecdote about what to do when the lights going out and you’re alone in a dark Italian church!
Parish Church of San Giorgio di Valpolicella Photos
The chapel has three naves (central aisles stretching from the main entrance at the back to the altar) and two apses (semicircular recesses covered with a hemispherical vault.) All are constructed in local white limestone.
In the 13th and 14th centuries, the inside of the church got a little color! Frescoes were added to the naves and apses.
On the south nave there is one depicting the Last Supper.
On the day of our visit to San Giorgio, overcast skies dimmed the natural light coming in from high windows. I was standing in the dimly lit space near The Last Supper fresco. Just as I was imagining a chorus of Latin murmurs, the lights went out.
A singular clunk was followed by an immediate, intensely silent darkness. I could barely see. Minor panic set in. “Oh no! Had they left and locked us in?”
Taking a second for my eyes to adjust I held out my hands. I tried feeling my way to the door.
Just as I caught a glimpse of light, I heard a metallic clang. Paolo had dropped a euro into an offering box in the back corner of the room. The lights snapped back on. My fear was instantly replaced with a snort of laughter.
Apparently, the best way to get an offering is to connect the lights and the offering box. Who knew?
Hahaha…love the humor you find
That clanging sound of an offering in the offering box was classic comedy!