Chiesa di San Costanzo a Perugia

Church of San Costanzo in Perugia

Surrounded by a green ridge of pine trees, the Church of San Costanzo, one of the oldest of Perugia was upgraded to minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, it is situated to the southeast of the city in the quarter of Porta San Pietro, one of the five quarters in which the downtown is composed, named “the beautiful village” for its majesty and for its architectural vestiges treasure. This single – nave building, existing since 1027, was enlarged, consolidated and consecrated by the bishop Viviano in 1205. 
Of those ancient times you can still admire the main door with two marble jambs adorned with some branches and some imaginary animals and the architrave with the Blessing Christ.
Other earthen elements coming from the Biscarini from Perugia furnace, among which a bas – relief representing an half – length San Costanzo, date back to 1889, year in which the Perugian architect Guglielmo Calderini rebuilt the church in neo – Romanesque style, by using for the outer shell the Assisi’s pink stone. 
Always in Perugia were born Palazzo Bianchi and Palazzo Cesaroni, from the Calderini’s talent, one of the most important personality in the Italian architecture of the XIX century, but his celebrity has always been tied to two works: the planning and the realization of the quadrangle built in front of the Saint Paul’s Basilica outside the walls in Rome and, above all, always in the capital town of Rome, the Courthouse.

Entering the church of San Costanzo, a young Umbrian Christian who was martyred during the persecution of Christians ordered by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, his look and shape are revealed inside the apse – whose external part is original just like the main door – in the middle of a neo-Gothic altarpiece painted between the 1890 and the 1891 by the Perugian artist Ludovico Caselli.
Other decorations of this sacred building were made by another local painter, Matteo Tassi.
If you can see his look, on the other hand his remains are overlooked: in fact they are kept for about two centuries in a casket deposed underneath the altar. They just appeared out a few years before from the main altar, which was demolished to perform some works in the presbytery of the church.
San Costanzo is commemorated on every January 29th, with great devotion of the town of Perugia. It is said that on this occasion young ladies of marriageable age used to go to church and they were expecting a signal from the Saint: if he winked them they would have married by the year. According to tradition during the day of the feast, people use to make and to eat the “San Costanzo’s winepress”, a typical Umbrian doughnut – shaped cake. 

Opening hours:
From October to January, Monday and Wednesday 05.00 p.m. – 06.00 p.m.
During celebrations, Sunday 09.00 a.m. – 11.00 a.m.

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Main attractions in the vicinity