October 26, 2015

Pieve di Sant'Andrea: An Unexpected Visit

Pieve di Sant'Andrea di Bigonzo
Vittorio Veneto (TV)

It has been a long time since I wanted to visit the church just outside the old town of Serravalle, now part of the city of Vittorio Veneto (Province of Treviso, Veneto region). Last Tuesday I succeeded—not by my efforts, but by the grace of God, or by the hand of fate, if you prefer. In fact I was in the nearby area due to family reasons, and I had a two-hour gap… So I wandered around aimlessly, until I found myself in front of that very church, the Pieve di Sant’Andrea di Bigonzo (Parish Church of St. Andrew of Bigonzo)! When I entered the portal, the view that I could see was almost beyond description…

Pieve di Sant'Andrea di Bigonzo: The Interior 

The atmosphere of the interior—thanks to its beauty and its games of light and shadow, and thanks to the history that surrounds and pervades the whole—is charged with spiritual energy and sense of harmony.

Consecrated in 1303 in the presence of the Patriarch of Grado, the Pieve was built on top of a pre-existing church (probably 4th or 5th century). The hut-shaped façade is adorned with a five-sided rosette and two 16th-century shrines. The bell tower was restored in 1635 after being destroyed by an earthquake.

The inside of the church is 108 ft (33 m) long, 14 ft (45 m) wide, and 39 ft (12 m) high. The walls are entirely covered with frescoes and paintings by both known and unknown artists (among them Antonello da Serravalle, Francesco da Milano, Marco Vecello, Antonio Rosso di Cadore, Antonio Zago).

St. Andrew  –  Pieve di Sant'Andrea di Bigonzo
Vittorio Veneto (Tv)

The shrine on the left of the main altar, called "Cappella dei Battuti" (1337)—after the Confraternity of the Battuti (Flagellants)—is particularly worthy of note. It contains a cycle of frescoes illustrating the life of St. Andrew.

St. Andrew dragged through the street 
Pieve di Sant'Andrea di Bigonzo  –  Vittorio Veneto (Tv)

St. Andrew crucified
Pieve di Sant'andrea di Bigonzo  –  Vittorio Veneto (Tv)

Also worthy of note is the recently restored 14th-century crucifix—one of the largest and most imposing Gothic wooden crucifixes in the North East of Italy, being 89.7 inches (228 cm) high and 88.5 inches (225 cm) in width.

Needless to say, I strongly recommend to anyone living or visiting the Venice area to pay a visit to this amazing place.

Info Credits
  1. Address: Pieve Sant'Andrea di Bigonzo, piazza Pieve di Bigonzo, 2 – località Sant'Andrea 31029 Vittorio Veneto, TV (Italy). Tel. +39 0438 53396.
  2. Holy Masses: see here.
  3. Restoration projects: click here to watch a selection of videos (in Italian) about some of the most important restoration projects for the church by Fondazione Cassamarca.
  4. Photos courtesy of GeoplanWikimedia Commons, Tripadvisor, and La Pieve di Sant'Andrea di Bigonzo (click here and here to see more photos of the frescoes and paintings).
  5. Sources: (Diocesi di Vittorio Veneto), Fondazione Cassamarca.