testo di prova

‘Torre dei Mori’, The Tower of the Moors

The Port Tower, the Clock Tower, The Tower of the Moors

The so called “Porton del Ponte de le Hore” was the silent guardian of the entrance to Sacile and the witness of the city life from XIV century until 1939.

The eastern gate of the city Torre dei Mori – The Tower of the Moors, was built in the XIV century over the castle gate that ran from the port (today a main square, Piazza del Popolo) to Borgo Ricco, and then towards Friuli, transforming one of the many towers placed along the walls of the city.

What was then called Torre del Porto, the Port Tower, because it was near the landing place for the boats that went up the Livenza, it was described in 1483 by Marin Sanudo as Torre dell’Orologio, the Clock Tower, with two wooden Moors that beat the hours on an ancient bell, cast in 1397, bearing inscriptions, decorations and the coat of arms of Sacile.

Rebuilt in 1582 by decision of the city council, the Tower of the Moors remained intact until 1917, when, with the Austro-Hungarian occupation, the two Moors were removed from the belfry and burned, while the bell was stolen and transported to an unknown foundry to be melted down for the war industry.

In 1927 the city council commissioned a new bell from the De Poli foundry in Vittorio Veneto and another pair of Moors from the sculptor Giuseppe Scalambrin, who made them in wood painted them to look like bronze.
A few years later, on Sunday 18 October 1936, a very strong earthquake seriously damaged the tower. It was then knocked down as far as the lower level of the clock face, pending a final decision on whether to demolish completely or restore it. In the end, however, practical questions concerning the road network for which the narrow passage was a real obstacle, prevailed over the historical value of the building. As a result, it was demolished in early 1939, but only after the two wooden Moors and the material that made up the clock were delivered to the city council.

Chiesetta San Giovanni Battista

A countryside treasure enshrining post-Byzantine frescoes and a miraculous wooden crucifix.

South of Sacile, on a small hill close to the river Livenza, Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista can be found: an ancient church whose architecture and decorations are of particular artistic and historic interest.

The origins of Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista are traditionally set around 1300, even though the first traces of its presence date back to 1233.

The rectangular building has one nave housing the main body and presbytery. The ceiling features wooden trusses and bricks, while the vault is covered in plaster; on its outside, it features two slopes. The presbytery and altar are directed towards East, as a reference to the places where Jesus lived. The external bell gable stands on the entrance façade.

The access to the church was paved during the 20th century and designed with a strong symbolism: marble tiles of different colours depict the cross, the water of river Jordan, John the Baptist and the Baptism of Jesus.

Its inside hosts precious post-Byzantine frescoes ascribed to the 16th-century Venetian-Cretan school: above the triumphal round arch leading to the altar, God Father is flanked by the announcing Angel and Virgin Mary, while below them some frescoes depict the Saint apostles Peter and Paul. On the right wall, the Baptism of Jesus at the river Jordan features the kneeling figure of a donor holding a book, dated 1593. The left wall hosts a work in a different style, ascribed to Girolamo Stefanelli, depicting Madonna on throne with Child and two standing saints, Saint John the Baptist and Saint James the Less, with the words “S. Carlo de Vettor ha fatto fare per suo avodo et devocion MDLXXXXIII” (Sir Carlo de Vettor commissioned this work as a vote and for devotion in 1593).

Behind the altar, an ancient crucifix by an unknown artist from Cadore area is visible. The wonderful lime wood polychrome sculpture dates to the 16th century, while the cross is more recent. Its current position in the church sums up the fundamentals of Christian faith: incarnation, death and resurrection (Annunciation fresco, Crucifix, Mass altar). In the early 18th century, this splendid work witnessed a “miraculous” event recorded in the Parish register of Francenigo hamlet.

On the left side wall, towards the centre, a sort of tabernacle with a niche hosts a modern statue of Saint Anthony from Padua, while on the right side wall a 21st-century canvas depicts Saint John the Baptist baptising Jesus.

The church also enshrines a splendid bronze Way of the Cross by contemporary sculptor Giorgio Igne donated by Mazzon families of Sacile. This work reinforces all the expressive traits of the artist, often choosing religious themes reinterpreted under the light of discovery of the contemporary world. His strong language expresses an art preserving history, carving the truth inside everybody’s conscience.

Chiesa San Liberale

Built in the wake of a miracle, it hosts the remains of Saint Liberal Martyr

The temple of San Liberale solemnly stands at the end of Viale Zancanaro: it is the guardian of Sacile’s co-protecting Saint.

With an history of demolitions and reconstructions, the origins of Chiesa di San Liberale can be found in the wake of a miracle.

According to the legend, a local peasant was ploughing the land with two oxen which suddenly kneeled before some human bones that had been brought to light by the plough. The event was regarded as a miracle: a small shrine was built on the spot and consecrated to Saint Liberal the Confessor, attracting the faithful from neighbouring villages.

In 1683, the shrine was replaced by a temple. In July 1694, the remains of a Roman soldier named Liberal, who converted to the Christian faith and who died as a martyr, were brought from Rome’s catacombs to the temple.

In 1917, during enemy occupancy, the church was profaned and damaged. In 1926, it was demolished and rebuilt on the same spot with its current shape, with the plan of making it an ossuary for the local people who were killed in the Great War. The project was developed by engineer Riccardo Bertoja, who was inspired by the famous painting “The Marriage of the Virgin” by Raphael.

The works for the new temple went on for decades. Only at the beginning of the Sixties, it was opened to worship and the remains of the Body of Saint Liberal were definitively placed on the main altar.

The inside of the temple is completely circular and shows its architecture and style; no artistic decorations were provided for in its project.

Chiesetta di San Daniele

Last trace of an ancient castle, this church enshrines frescoes from the 13th century

Chiesetta di San Daniele is located in the ancient hamlet of Topaligo, “a castle, now small villa in the territory, just half a mile outside Sacile, in the direction of the door of Saint Anthony”.

Chiesetta di San Daniele is a small religious building located in the hamlet of Topaligo, an ancient borough South of the railway station, inhabited from the Langobard period. The meaning of its name got lost in the course of its long history: “place rich in poplars” or “place connected to salt trade”.

The church was built around 1100 near a castle which was destroyed towards the end of the 12th century. The current structure dates to the 15th century, although some sources quoted Chiesa di San Daniele in connection with pastoral visits in the years 1512 and 1554. Contrary to other churches in Sacile, which were property of the Patriarchs of Aquileia, it has always belonged to the Diocese of Concordia and is up to date the beating hearth of Topaligo.

Its inside shows precious and visible frescoes from the 14th century, valuable works depicting a crucifixion and saints, and a 15th-century fresco with Saint Sebastian.

The valuable large picture (oil on canvas) was an altarpiece and dates to the 17th-18th century. It depicts a Madonna with Child, S. Daniel with the Lion and S. Florian with the ox.

Chiesa B.V. delle Grazie di Fossabiuba

This small, lonely church in the countryside, dedicated to Saint Mary of Graces, is the only vestige of the Feud of Fossabiuba.

Built in the meadows in Vistorta in 1014, when the castle and its neighbourhood were destroyed the church survived inside the profound, religious silence that surrounds it to the present day.

 Chiesetta della Madonna delle Grazie di Fossabiuba is located in Vistorta, a charming hamlet South of Sacile. For many years, it has been a destination for pilgrims and a centre of devotion rooted in peasant culture and tradition. It is also known as “Church of Fossabiuba” due to the proximity with river Meschio, bordering the ancient feud and reminding of fossa biuba, from dialect “bevuda”, indicating a river where animals used to drink.

Built in 1014 under the name of Saint Mary Nascent, it belonged to the Feud of Fossabiuba of Giacomo Del Ben, also known as “the powerful”. Giacomo da Fossabiuba brought the family properties to their maximum splendour, with the castle reaching the highest number of inhabitants in the area. Surrounded and protected by walls and rivers, it had four entrance doors located on the cardinal points, a “beautiful piazza” and many workshops. The feud was renowned also for its healthy air and abundance of rivers.

The decline and destruction began in 1199 by the hand of Da Camino family. The small church, built under the name of Saint Mary Nascent, survived the passing of time and was then dedicated to Saint Mary of the Angles. In 1462, the Augustinian hermit fathers refurbished and decorated it, and named it Chiesa delle Grazie. At least two of the frescoes on its inside date back to the 16th century and are ascribed to the Friulian school. Since 1973, it is owned by the Parish of Cavolano, which, after the earthquake in 1976, started significant refurbishment works.

Chiesa della Madonna delle Grazie has a single nave and houses a 18th-century golden wood altar, donated by the community to free the city from cholera. The altar hosts a wooden Madonna with 15th-century clothes, which has been recently refurbished.

The frescoes are so valuable that they are considered to be among the most interesting in this area. Renovation works showed that they sometimes overlap and that they were probably created like ex-voto between the end of the 14th century and the beginning of the 17th century.

Their main subject is the Madonna. The most significant images are the Madonna with Child above the right side door (end of 16th century), and, on the left wall, a slightly ruined Last Supper.

Chiesetta della Pietà

This church was strongly demanded by Sacile community.

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pietà has its origin in a deep local faith. It has looked onto the clear water of the river Livenza for many centuries, welcoming each faithful and traveller who came to see the statue of Saint Mary of Mercy, also known as Vesperbild.

Symbol of the city, Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pietà has always enjoyed a deep popular devotion: until recent years, during the Marian festivities, solemn celebrations took place.

Construction works started in 1611, after a miraculous event which took place in August 1609: a statue of “Mercy” (placed close to the “pianche” bridge which gave access to the small square of the Duomo) began to weep. Rumours about miracles and unbelievable healings were spread, and many faithful came from nearby villages. The Council of the Magnificent Community of Sacile started long negotiations with the Venetian Senate and the Diocese of Aquileia to be allowed to build a small church close to the bridge, to better shelter the miraculous statue. At the beginning of 1616, Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pietà was consecrated. In 1630, a well known artist, Valentino Dell’Huomo from Udine, created the altar. Between 1623 and 1645, the interiors were fitted and the building was richly decorated.

Over time, the church has undergone many restoration works and modifications.

Today, the building has a refined and original design with an hexagonal plan. Walls are hinged to one another by long pilasters with Ionic capitals, supporting a double trabeation with ample and plain walls where central round splayed windows open. The entrance portico is evocative: a hall with a double loggia rises directly from the water of the river Livenza.

Inside, the church has only one hexagonal hall with vaults and a deep presbytery housing the only altar. To the right, a door leads to the sacristy. The stone altar was sculpted around 1626 by Valentino dell’ Huomo from Udine and is currently located on the bottom of the choir, against the wall.

Above the altar, the sacred sculpture can be seen. This 15th-century statue of Madonna with deposed Christ, also known with the German word Vesperbild, belongs to a particular category of sculptures which were largely spread in Veneto and Friuli back at the time and were deeply venerated by the faithful.

Currently, the statue of Mercy is white-yellowish, but until the 20th century it was covered by a layer of painting, which can now be detected only thanks to a few coloured traces on its surface. The statue, long deemed to be made of sandstone, is actually made of an artificial mixture whose technique, of German origin, is best known as Gußstein. This mixture of chalk and sand was used to create statues or architectural decorations and was easy to mould, allowing for extremely decorative results.

Duomo San Nicolò Vescovo

Majestic and solemn, spiritual place and guardian of the city’s art and history.

A Duke of Friuli, the bend of a river crossing a royal street. In 796, a small shrine was built and a city was born.

 For its size and solemnity, Duomo di San Nicolò is certainly one of the most evocative sacred buildings in the region. It stands in the square with the same name, which is actually the ancient “plazuta”, where the medieval tracks converge. In this square Henry, Duke of Friuli, founded the city’s first church. The current building was constructed on the plan of the previous one between 1474 and 1496, under the supervision of Beltrame and Vittorino da Como.
The Renaissance-style façade is well proportioned and divided into three levels by the intersection of vertical pilasters and horizontal beams. Its top houses three stone statues of Saint Nicholas, Madonna and Saint Liberal, which were ascribed to Giuseppe Giordani.

The bronze portal features scenes from the Old and New Testament and was designed and partly crafted by Pino Casarini, who also created the apse’s frescoes. After the artist’s death, the works were completed by Don Luciano Carnessali, priest and artist from Trentino region.

The bell tower stands high above the square, even though recent earthquakes have caused it to lean to one side. Built with bricks in 1568 according to a project by Domenico da Como, it is fifty-two metres high and terminates with an octagonal pinnacle surmounted by a 2.60-metre-high bronze anemoscope angel, standing there from 16th August 1957.

Churches in Sacile: Duomo San Nicolò - bell tower

Inside, Duomo di San Nicolò features three naves separated by Gothic arches resting on columns.
Its Latin cross plan is characterized by a polygonal apse. The structure of the ceiling is visible and is made of wooden trusses.

The naves houses several altarpieces, including Pala di San Nicolò Vescovo, by Francesco Dal Ponte known as Bassano, and Pale di Sant’Agnese, San Cristoforo, Santa Maria Maddalena, Santi Cosma e Damiano and Sant’Antonio Abate.

The presbytery can be accessed through a majestic triumphal arch, where Pino Casarini carved the twelve apostles and the Annunciation at the top, and painted the frescos in 1946. The centre of the apse is decorated with a representation of the Virgin Mary and Child on throne, surrounded by Saint Nicholas, Saint Liberal and rows of saints and angels playing musical instruments. The left wall of the choir depicts the Crucifixion, while the right wall hosts the Resurrection. The vault is decorated with the symbols of the four evangelists. The main altar is made of marble and adorned with statues of Saint Jerome and Saint Francis

Cappella con altare di San Liberale is located to the right of the presbytery. Formerly housing the Blessed Sacrament, the chapel was refurbished after the earthquake of 1936 to receive the altar from Chiesa di San Liberale, which had been destroyed.
The statue of Saint Liberal has been ascribed to Paolo Callalo and is flanked by the wooden statues of Saint Anthony the Abbot and Saint Dominic, formerly belonging to the demolished church “chiesa nova di Santo Antonio” adjoining the Monastery of the Dominican Sisters.
Cappella del SS. Sacramento is located to the left. Designed to house the Blessed Sacrament, it is decorated by Pino Casarini’s Sacred Heart of Jesus in the background.



The Baptistery of the Duomo is a precious wood work created at the beginning of the 19th century by skilled wood crafters. Their art is best expressed in the dome: herringbone patterns made with woods of different colours are paired with motives of laurel leaves. It is topped by an ancient wooden statue of Saint John the Baptist, which can be dated between the 15th and 16th century. Six beautiful rectangular wooden panels represent flowers with lucid brass stems, recalling the 17th-century Venetian art.


Built in 1939, the chapel hosts a 18th-century altar and marble crucifix. The walls display the fragments of a frieze representing sibyls and prophets with flowers and cherubs, created by Antonio Zago at the end of the 15th century to decorate the main nave of the Duomo.


Almost a small Venetian square, located on one of the two island created by the river, Piazza Duomo was once called “City”. It is Sacile’s oldest part, the historical heart of commerce: two ancient “contrada” branch out from here, hosting houses with porticoes and ample columned ground floors, in accordance with the classic structure of workshops in the Commune period.

Churches in Sacile: Duomo San Nicolò - Piazza Duomo

Chiesa San Gregorio

Located in an ancient borough, on the Livenza riverbank, the church comforts the spirits of travellers and pilgrims.

Elegant and sober cultural centre, it still bears the traces of its past: place of worship and protagonist during the wars. History was here.

Chiesa di San Gregorio was built in the borough with the same name, on the site of a previous church commissioned in 1331 and built in 1345 by the brotherhood known as Confraternita dei Battuti to support the patients of the nearby hospital. Initially dedicated to Saint Mary of Mercy, then to Madonna and Saint Gregory, and finally only to Saint Gregory from 1437, it was entirely refurbished and expanded in 1514 as per a project by Bernardino da Portogruaro. In March 1524, the main altar dedicated to Saint Gregory and a side altar dedicated to Saint Roch and Saint Sebastian were consecrated, as stated by the writing on the left wall of the apse.

The current shape of the building results from many expansions and refurbishments, which can be retraced in its different architectural styles. The interior features an interesting architectural solution: the 15th-century spatiality can be detected in the single nave, which is completed by the volumes of the Renaissance- style apse and dome. The external façade is made of bricks and characterized by a portal and a triumphal arch in Istrian stone in Renaissance style. Fragments of frescoes can also be found on the walls representing the coat of arms of the city and Saint James inside a Renaissance niche; the floor houses some tombstones of ancient local noble families.

The bell tower dates back to the 17th century, although its construction was interrupted several times. The side altars and sacristy are more recent.

The building is now owned by the City Council and, together with the adjoining Ospitale, it creates San Gregorio complex, an important cultural centre which serves as a reference for concerts, meetings, shows and exhibitions.

Centro Studi Biblici

Sacile hosts a unique knowledge centre for studying the Bible.

Culture and sacred texts meet in a unique offer: this Centre for Bible Studies is the opportunity to find out more on theology and discuss religious matters, as well as current news.

Hosted in Palazzo Ovio-Gobbi, ancient noble house now hosting the Parish premises, Centro di Studi Biblici was founded in 1976 by Professor Giuseppe Scarpat, Bible scholar, and Mons. Pietro Mazzarotto, Parish Priest of Duomo at the time. It was first established to answer the need for education of the clergy after the strong advice of the Second Vatican Council, but soon became a reference for laymen who wished to accrue their knowledge on biblical texts.

The centre’s main purpose is to spread the knowledge of the bible on various levels: approach, basic study, systematic exegetic analysis.

Over time, activities have been diversified to answer local needs and meet renewed and enriched objectives. The offer ranges from the study of biblical texts on two levels (simple approach and systematic exegetic analysis), cultural and biblical trainings, to language seminars (biblical Greek and Jewish culture). Centro di Studi Biblici also organizes recurrent trips and study tours to the Holy Land (actual courses led by local Bible scholars), spiritual Bible readings during Christmas period, theatre plays on Biblical texts or on related themes, meetings on music, cinema, literature: all these aspects of knowledge meet the message of the biblical texts.

Unique in Northeast Italy, the library hosts two mirroring rooms with carefully selected biblical, pastoral and theological texts, reaching over 13,000 books in Italian, German, English and French, together with the Bible in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Aramaic, Copt, Chinese and Japanese.

The most ancient books are from Vittorio Veneto’s Seminar, with a Bible dated 1543 and commentaries from the 17th and 18th centuries. Nonetheless, the main focus is on modern Bible studies. The patristic sector is well cared for too, and houses the complete series of Sources Chrétiennes, over 520 books and the complete works of the fathers of the Church, including Saint Augustine and Saint Ambrose. The offer also includes theology, history and religion history sectors. The library is mainly visited by specialists, university researchers, theology or religious studies students and also features informative, consultation and analysis sectors to integrate the courses.

Centro di Studi Biblici is tied to the Holy Land by a two-way relation: on one hand, it has always aimed at collecting texts, reaching extremely rare works which are not available elsewhere in Italy, while on the other it is active on its territory with pilgrimages and in-house seminars. In Sacile, the meeting room is dedicated to the Patriarch of Jerusalem.

Since 2001, the centre is managed by the director Mons. Rinaldo Fabris, a Bible scholar; in 2002 it was acknowledged as a cultural entity of great relevance by Friuli Venezia-Giulia region. Its president has always been Mons. Pietro Mazzarotto.

Ospitale San Gregorio

An ancient building, unquestionable spectator of the long history of assistance and hospitality in Sacile.

From ancient Pilgrim’s Shelter during the Crusades, to Hospital for the Poor during the Commune period, today it is an important cultural centre together with Chiesa di San Gregorio.

Ospitale San Gregorio is a small building close to the river Livenza, in Via Garibaldi, in Sacile historical centre.

Its origins are recorded in the early city documents. Reliable sources show that in 1199 the borough of San Gregorio already hosted a shelter to accommodate and assist travellers and pilgrims en route to sacred places, supporting them in line with the ethics of religion and charity.

It is located on what was a busy street at the time, which connected the upper and lower borough through the port. Once called Ospitale di Santa Maria della Misericordia, it already existed in 1331 and was first managed by the order of Giovanniti, then by a brotherhood known as Confraternita dei Battuti, and finally by the Community from 1366. It was a well-aired, open building, facing South, and sheltered from Northern winds. In 1461, it was extended and used to accommodate the sick, or “Christ’s poor”. Thanks to the help of many local families, in 1475 it could also count on a surgeon.

With the fall of the Republic of Venice in 1797, the hospital was used as a shelter for troops. In 1879, its activity was moved to the current hospital premises, originally housing the Augustinian monastery of Madonna degli Angeli, which had been dismissed in the 18th century under the Venetian domination and had then served as military base, warehouse and houses, before being acquired by the City Council.

After the Great World War the building housed the Municipal Court.

Today it features an elegant entrance portico, an interior combining round arches and segmental arches held up by square pillars with rounded edges, still showing traces of ancient plaster with decorative paintings and more recent charcoal inscriptions. An element of greater interest is the “butto”, the traditional barrel-shaped compartment built under kitchens to dispose of garbage. This structure emerged from the recent restoration and still contained pottery, etched ceramics, majolica, raw colourless ceramics, ceramic plates, pots and glasses (mioli).



On 23rd
March 1462,
date of this writing,
when Adam was created,
the Hospital for
Christ’s Poor was founded