The current Duomo dedicated to St. Peter was built between in 1474 and 1520 over a pre-existing cathedral of which little is known and nothing remains, except for some elements in stone re-used in the exterior sides. The building site of the main religious building of Faenza was long, complex and tormented: it was designed by the Florentine Giuliano da Maiano, faithful architect of the Manfredi and “sent” to Faenza by the Medici during the diplomatic and cultural relations between the two dominions. Giuliano here translated renaissance models of Brunelleschi (the most evident referral is San Lorenzo in Florence), although re-interpreted them with “Po valley ways” with the certain aid of local maestros apart from the architect’s intentions. The façade is in warm raw indented bricks and incomplete, the covering is unknown; what is visible today is white calcareous stone limited to the lower part and was arbitrarily begun during a second phase when Giuliano had left the site. The initial Maiano project certainly foresaw more illumination compared to what is current, partially mortified by the occlusion of some of the side openings mainly for the altars, altarpieces and works of art not considered by Giuliano.For its importance (the only Renaissance structure at a regional level, except for the Tempio Malatestiano of Rimini) and its complexity, it is advisable to visit this monument when there is a lot of time at your disposition and with a guide (at least with the useful guide available on the bench opposite the entrance). All the side chapels contain works of art, sometimes of great capital importance. In any case, do not ignore the three most important sculptured monuments, the arches of S. Savino, S. Emiliano and S. Terenzio, respectively by Benedetto da Maiano and anonymous Tuscan renaissance maestros; the touching 1400’s wooden crucifix sculptured by an unknown Nordic sculptor, perhaps German; finally, the Pala Bonaccorsi, an exquisite 1500’s table painted by Innocenzo Francucci of Imola and still with its original gold and carved cornice. Also, San Pier Damiano is buried in the Duomo, in the chapel of the same name on the left side.
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