Piegaro

HISTORY

Surrounded by woodlands and on the eastern side of a hill, Piegaro, overlooks the river Nestore. It still preserves its medieval style. Going uphill, we drive along a wonderful scenery where through the blind arches we spot the tiny chapel of the Madonna della Crocetta (XVI century); The church used to be the seat of the confraternity of the “Signoria dei Vetrai”, since 1486, and inside, it houses the wooden statue Ecce Homo, which is still worshipped by the inhabitants of Piegaro, called piegaresi, especially during Lent.

We then discover the city walls with their medieval fortified towers. In the centre, the church of Saint Silvester is worth a visit. The church was restored inside during the 1800s. It displays a wooden crucifix which dates back to the XVII century,to which some miracles are attributed. Along Via Roma, still well preserved, we can see the Palace Misciattelli Pallavicini, dating back to the XVIII century, which turned to be a historic Residence. The most important building is the one where there used to be the old glassmaking factory once, and today the “Glass Museum”. It can be easily recognisable thanks to the old chimneystack that witnesses the importance of glassmaking in this area, which has been playing an essential role in the local economy since the Middle Ages. The “Rocolo” park is another place that is worth a visit. A green area, located next to piazza Verneuil en Halatte, called in the past Parco Misciattelli. It was a hunting reserve in the past, used by the Marquis; today it is a public garden, surrounded by centuries-old trees, and it is suitable for all kinds of events in the open air.

 

TOP TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

THE CHURCH OF SAN SILVESTRO PAPA > The Church of San Silvestro Papa, the Patron Saint of Piegaro, it is the town’s parish church and dates back perhaps around the year 1000s. It was restored many times during the centuries, but it was only in the mid. 1800s when it gained its present Neoclassic aspect. It still has its rectangular shape, with two small side chapels, but the original wooden ceiling was replaced by a vault, divided into big geometrical spaces and supported by 14 columns. There are five altars: The main altar. The altar of the sacred remains, the altar of the Crucifix, the altar of the Immacolata and the altar of the Madonna del Buon Consiglio. Inside, it displays important works like: The Virgin with the child, between Saint Sebastian and Saint Rocco, (School of Umbria XVI sec), the Virgin with the Child, Saint Francis, Saint Sebastian and Santa Margherita da Cortona (XVI cent.).

PALAZZO MISCIATTELLI-PALLAVICINI > IN the centre of Piegaro, it is an important building dating back to the 1800s and it used to be the summer residence of the family Pallavicini, princes from Rome, and owners of the surrounding lands and glassmaking factories.
It used to be the temporary seat of the Town Hall, after the Second World War and today it is a luxurious historic residence. It is also possible to book a visit of its frescoed rooms and the tiny private chapel.

CHURCH OF MADONNA DELLA CROCETTA > It was founded around the mid-XV century. At the end of the 1400s, the workers of the glassmaking factories, thanked the Virgin for the graces they received for being saved by the perils of the kilts. They founded then an association called “Gonfalone di Santa Maria”, and in 1486 it was renamed “Confraternita di Signoria dei Vetrai”, with civil and religious aims. The money,the confraternity collected was used to embellish this small church. It was restored in the early 2000s; it has one central nave, with a vault and side rib vaults. The frescoes on the ceiling represent the scene of the Assumption of the Virgin and date back to the XVI-XVII centuries.

THE GLASS MUSEUM > In the heart of the old centre of Piegaro, at the base of a huge chimney stack made of bricks rises the old glassmaking factory. The glass museum opened there on 18th April 2009. The building tells the centenary story of glass making in Piegaro, starting from the Middle Ages up to the XX century. According to documents which witness how the production of glass had already been present in the area since the XIV century, it was only during the 1800s that the production of glass grew thanks to the intervention of the new owner,Geremia Misciattelli. The building, where the museum is, underwent a series of renewals and renovations during the centuries. While visiting it, we follow the whole process of glassmaking. A lot of pieces are displayed so that they can witness the sophistication of the 1800s’ production, made of transparent glass with decorations painted and carved in gold, large jugs and wicker wine bottles from Piegaro, that were also stuffed with traditional lake straw, called “scarcia”. After the foundation of the glassmaking factory Vetreria Cooperativa Piegarese, which bought the factory in 1960, the buiding, was too old and too small and closed down in 1968. In the basement, among tunnels and storage rooms, a huge emerald green pile is the result of glass solidification.