The main altar in the beautiful abbey of Santa Maria in Sylvis
The interior of the Abbey in Sesto al Reghena during the #italiagrandsketchingtour.
The town of Sesto al Reghena is another gem, rich of history and beauty. I had been here couple of years ago with a visit of FAI to sketch the place and I remembered it as a wonderful place and I really wanted to come back to visit by myself. Luckily enough, once I arrived there was a big group coming with a booked guided visit. They were late and while drawing the guide started talking to me and invited me to follow the group. I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about this place.
The tour brought us all over the Abbey and it gave me so many information. What I found particularly interesting was that the abbey was very unlucky. It was founded around 730–735 AD and belonged to the Benedictines. Throughout the Centuries it was conquered and destroyed various time. In fact in this area the Magyar occupations had been recurrent and often they attacked the abbey. But nevertheless every time the church was rebuilt better and bigger than before.
The interior of the Abbey
Inside the abbey is very beautiful. There is the vestibule, an area for the pilgrims that were here protected and hosted during their travels that is just outside from the church itself and is richly decorated with frescoes of the 15th Century. The interior is imposing with the columns and colorful frescoes that create a space of great spirituality. The altar is on different levels and on the top plane the apses are richly decorates with scenes of the Old and New Testament. Interestingly enough, when I visited, all the area was fresh of restoration and the magnificence of the place was incredible. Underneath there is a crypt (you can see the entrance doors on the side of the drawing) that is rich of art and sculptures from the 13th and 15th Century. But particularly important is the urn of Sant’Anastasia, were remains of the saint are conserved and venerated.
I decided to make this fast sketch because inside the abbey pictures are not allowed and so I decided I could have a special memory of the place. And indeed this small drawing has become just that, a unique memory of a beautiful place and story, of my life as part of the history of the place. I feel sometimes that drawing and sketching places make me part of a whole, a way of testimony my presence.