visit.Gemona

A series of votive chapels

  1. Ognissanti Chapel
  2. Santo Spirito Priory
  3. Church of Sant’Agnese
  4. Church of  San Pietro e Paolo
  5. Church of the Immacolata Concezione
  6. Church of San Giacomo
  7. Church of Santa Lucia
  8. Church of the Beata Vergine dell’Annunziata
  9. Church of San Marco
  10. Church of Santi Valentino e Nicolò
  11. Church of the Madonna della Salute
  12. Church of Santa Maria di Fossale
  13. Church of San Rocco
  14. Church of the Madonna della Pace

In addition to the important churches of the town centre, Gemona is home to a number of smaller churches and votive chapels sprinkled all over the little hamlets that surround the town centre, some of which date back to Medieval times, while others have been rebuilt following the 1976 earthquake.

Itinerary from the north to the south of the Gemona area:

Ognissanti Chapel

Located on the main road of Ospedaletto, it was built in 1394 by an inhabitant of the hamlet in fulfilment of a vow, then expanded in 1401 by the same man and one of his sons. The main façade has been altered repeatedly over the centuries; it now has three round windows and a door with an architrave topped by a lunette and flanked by two niches which originally housed frescoes. Almost entirely destroyed by the 1976 earthquakes, it was philologically rebuilt in 1985 and 1986 under the supervision of the Superintendency.


The chapel’s rectangular nave with a barrel vault ceiling contains a number of fragments of frescoes dating from different times in history, from the late fourteenth century to the early to mid fifteenth century.

Santo Spirito Priory

Santo Spirito Priory

Santo Spirito Priory stands on a rocky spur in the centre of the hamlet of Ospedaletto. It was constructed in the thirteenth century as a refuge for the sick, the poor, and pilgrims. The main façade of the existing building features a grand loggia built in 1706, consisting of three large cross vaults supported by squared-off pillars. The neo-Gothic church of Santo Spirito was built in the second half of the nineteenth century over the foundations of an older church.

Church of Sant’Agnese

A very old church which may date back to the twelfth century and was probably built over the ruins of a pagan temple along the Celtic path. Until the thirteenth century it was a hermitage for monks, possibly of the rule of Saint Benedict, who later moved into the village, where the convent of the Franciscan Nuns of the Sacred Heart now stands.

Church of Sant’Agnese


The earthquakes of 1976 completely destroyed the little church, which was philologically reconstructed exactly “where and how it was” in 1983 and 1984. Above the little door in the main façade is an thirteenth-century architrave sculpted with a cross inside a shield and a characteristic bell-gable. The square nave contains fragments of late fourteenth-century frescoes, and on the altar is a wooden statue of Saint Agnes.

Church of  San Pietro e Paolo

Church of  San Pietro e Paolo

The church was built by a local family between 1831 and 1835. The church is the only one in the Gemona area, other than the cathedral, that was not destroyed or seriously damaged in the 1976 earthquakes. Restored in 1979 and 1980, the church contains a ceiling fresco of the Madonna and Child with Saints Thomas and Anthony of Padua (by Giuseppe Barazzutti), reflecting the influence of the Art Nouveau style. 

Church of the Immacolata Concezione

Church of the Immacolata Concezione

The hamlet of Campagnola decided to build this little church in 1954 for the use of the elderly and for the instruction of the village children, as it was a long way to walk along a dangerous road to the church in Ospedaletto. Work continued until 1958, and thanks to the villagers’ sacrifices and determined contribution the church was completed and solemnly consecrated to the Madonna. The church was demolished in June 1976 due to the irreparable damage it had suffered in the earthquake, and rebuilt in 1988 to plans by architect Lorenzo Pevere, in a modern style with a spiral-shaped roof.

Church of San Giacomo

Church in Via Manin, next to “Goi-Pantanali” barracks. The church was constructed in  modern style, to the south of the site of the church of the same name that was destroyed in the 1976 earthquakes, in memory of the artillerymen who died in the earthquakes. It was inaugurated on 6 May 1990.

Church of Santa Lucia

The church that previously stood on the site, built in 1912, was located on the main road of the village of Piovega. Like most of the hamlet, it was completely destroyed in the 1976 earthquake. Construction of the new church began in 1992, to plans by architects Burelli and Gennaro, with a floor plan like that of an ancient theatre.

Church of Santa Lucia

The nave is accessed on the second floor, along a processional route that takes the faithful from the entrance to the liturgical area, decorated with engravings of passages from the Bible in Latin, Friulian and Italian, providing texts inspiring meditation and prayer.

Church of the Beata Vergine dell’Annunziata

Built in the hamlet of Taboga in 1687, and almost entirely destroyed by the earthquakes, it was philologically rebuilt by a group of volunteers thanks to donations collected. The church contains works by Swiss artist  Melchiorre Widmar, who was active in Gemona in the seventeenth century (frescoes of Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Mounta Carmel, and a canvas of the Annunciation). The little white church, rectangular in shape, now features a ceiling fresco of the Assumption by Gemona painter Giovanni Seravalli (1988) in place of Widmar’s original frescoes.

Church of San Marco

Built between 1930 and 1938 in the hamlet of Campolessi, prior to the 1976 earthquakes the church featured works by local artists and a sculpture on the front of the altar representing the Lion of Saint Mark, in celebration of the patron saint. A characteristic element was the faces of village girls appearing in the procession of saints around the perimeter of the church, blending the sacred with the profane, the mystical with the pagan.  

Church of San Marco – Campolessi


The existing church was built in modern style between 1988 and 1990 to plans by architect Lorenzo Pevere. In the interior, which features a single octagonal nave, is a crucifix reclaimed from the ruins of the previous church.

Church of Santi Valentino e Nicolò

Church of Santi Valentino e Nicolò

Destroyed by the 1976 earthquakes, this church was rebuilt in modern style between 1983 and 1987 by volunteers, using funds donated by the inhabitants of the hamlet of Godo. The plans are by Gemona professor Ercole Casolo, who is also responsible for the beautiful engraving in the stone of the spire (Saints Valentino and Nicolò) and the modern structure of the bell-tower. Inside the church, on the wall at the back of the presbytery (organised on the basis of decorative elements in Longobard style, a contemporary work by local architect Sandro Pittini) is a fresco in folk art style that came to light following the earthquake, showing Saint Nicholas surrounded by Saints and, at the top, the Virgin of the Assumption surrounded by angelic musicians. Artworks from the previous church which have been preserved include a large painting on canvas depicting Mary and Child, Saint Biagio, and Saint Rocco, with a view of Gemona in the background showing the church of San Biagio, from which the painting originally came.

Church of the Madonna della Salute

Located in the hamlet of Maniaglia, the early eighteenth-century church was completely destroyed by the earthquakes of 1976. The church was built again in modern style (to plans by Ercole Casolo) in 1987 – 1988 and decorated thanks to the generosity of the local inhabitants and a number of donors. 

Church of Santa Maria di Fossale

The church was built in 1659-60 to protect a late fourteenth-century fresco of Mary nursing the Christ Child which local residents believed to have worked miracles. The chapel, which has a hexagonal floor plan, was built on the site of a former defensive ditch protecting the second circle of walls around the town.

Church of Santa Maria di Fossale

The church was destroyed by the 1976 earthquake and rebuilt by a committee of local residents between 1990 and 1993. The gabled façade of the church is made of square blocks of stone, with an eighteenth-century door in seventeenth-century style; on either side of the door, a section of an earlier seventeenth-century church was found below the floor. The presbytery contains a wooden altar with a fresco in the centre which the people of Gemona consider miraculous, with a touching wooden crucifix.

Church of San Rocco

The local community erected a church dedicated to Saint Roche in Borgo del Ponte between 1499 and 1521, during an outbreak of the plague in the town. It was the first church to be rebuilt after the 1976 earthquake, by a group of volunteers coordinated by Monsignor Pietro Londero, in the same style as the previous building. 

Church of San Rocco

The door on the main façade in Baroque style is dated 1617. Artworks in the church include the  Crucifix of the presbytery (1982), a ceiling fresco of the Universal Judgement (1982), twentieth-century devotional sculptures (Saint Emiygdius, protector against earthquakes; Saint Roche; Mary and Child) and the Evangelists (four good eighteenth-century canvases by an anonymous Friulian painter). An altar of local red marble is carved into a seventeenth-century stone washbasin from a home in the village.

Church of the Madonna della Pace

Church of the Madonna della Pace

A church of seventeenth-century origin in the hamlet of Gleseute, on the ancient Celtic footpath (later to become a Roman road) from Gemona toward the Alpine passes and northern Europe. Destroyed by the earthquakes of 1976, it was rebuilt in modern style between 1988 and 1982 under the supervision of the Suprintendency of Friuli Venezia Giulia. One of the most atmospheric of Gemona’s churches, it is flanked by two cypress trees, inspiring a sense of peace and serenity.