Tourist Attraction in L'Aquila: Basilica di San Bernardino
The Basilica of San Bernardino. It is crowned by a monumental staircase that from Piazza Bariscianello reaches to the basilica creating a remarkable scenic impact for those coming from Via Fortebraccio. A second staircase puts it higher than the street level and makes it a church. The Renaissance stone facade was built on the project of Cola dell'Amatrice between 1524 and 1542. According to some scholars this project is inspired by that of Michelangelo for the Church of San Lorenzo in Florence. It is divided into three orders with different decorative styles: the first is Doric, the second Ionic and the third Corinthian. In the first order of the first order there are the metops, in the second order there is an elegant serliana, while in the third there are three large oculars. Four double columned rows divide them vertically, creating a charming and harmonious nine-squares design on three files. The central portal, further recessed between spiral columns, has in the lunette an altar of Silvestro dell'Aquila depicting the Virgin and Child among the Saints Francis of Assisi and Bernardino da Siena. The interior is a Latin cross with three naves and is about a hundred feet long. Its remarkably baroque appearance is due to the restorations followed by the earthquake of 1703 that raised the central nave, dome and drum to the ground. Today, the central nave has a precious wooden carved ceiling, carved, painted and golden, by Ferdinando Mosca from Pescocostanzo (from 1723 to 1727), which is also attributed to the magnificent monumental organ. The ceiling was then painted by Girolamo Cenatiempo, pupil of Luca Giordano. The side aisles open on numerous chapels with octagonal domes. The last chapel to the left contains the elegant Camponeschi Mausoleum, by Silvestro dell'Aquila, while the second on the right presents the Resurrection, a white enamelled terracotta altarpiece on a blue background by Andrea della Robbia. In the fourth chapel to the right you can admire the canvas depicting the adoration of the Magi of the headmaster Pompeo Cesura, Raffaello pupil. The fifth chapel on the right, very large compared to the others, preserves the Mausoleum of San Bernardino da Siena. It was commissioned by Silvestro dell'Aquila in 1489 by Jacopo of Notar Nanni and was completed by his nephew Angelo, called L'Ariscola, in 1505. Considered the masterpiece of the Renaissance aquilane sculpture, the mausoleum has the two-tier base of pilasters decorated by niches with sacred sculptures inside. The remains of the saint are enclosed in a modern silvery urn that replaces the original one that was fought by the French. The vault of the chapel and the apse have frescoes by Girolamo Cenatiempo.