Saint Jacopo's Chapel

The Holy treasure chest of Fiesole

Fiesole city is small but it is the seat of a huge and very ancient diocese: its importance is clear to Saint Jacopo’s Chapel visitors.
Inside this little building decorated with frescos, in fact, are gathered a lot of antique liturgical gold-works.

The Chapel was built during the 11th century, as the ancient oratory next to the episcopal building, and is so called due to its probable founder, the saint-bishop Jacopo il Bavaro (Fiesole’s bishop from 1027 to 1039), known for its care for Fiesole’s regeneration from the damages left by the latter bishops.

The oratory has been modified several times until the 14th century when it got its final shape, with the entrance on San Francesco street; approximately in 1440 Bicci di Lorenzo, a famous Florentine artist, painted a fresco with the Coronation of the Virgin between Angels and Saints. Looking at this fresco, it's possible to notice his refined style.

A memorial plaque tells us about a complete refurbishment that was necessary in 1849 because the chapel was ruined “by time and negligence”. In this circumstance the painter Antonio Marini uncovered some “ancient images on the wall” and painted a new fresco (1853) with saint Jacopo, just above the altar.

Nowadays the restored Chapel houses a very important collection of liturgical gold-works, testifying Fiesole’s diocese importance and antiquity: the older objects dated back to the 12th century, when Florence conquered Fiesole (1125 AD) and only the bishop of Fiesole assured city autonomy. The ritual objects inside the Chapel are dated from Middle Age to the 20th century and are clear evidences of the history of sumptuary art in Florentine territory and surroundings.

Inside the oratory are gathered over 50 very important works of art: for example, the Bishop Salutati’s Miter (dated about 1460 AD), called also “Saint Romolo’s Miter" (the first bishop of Fiesole), which is still used for important ceremonies as the “patron saint”; then there are a lot of decorated goblets, refined monstrances and so on…

It is possible to visit Saint Jacopo’s Chapel only if you are a group, making a reservation in advance or, if you are on your own, during the extraordinary openings.

To make a reservation please call: +39 055 596 1293

Attachments:
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