Church of Santa Maria della Misericordia [Holy Mary of Mercy]



In the 18th century, on the site of the pre-existing church of Santa Maria di Piazza, the Church of Santa Maria della Misericordia was built on the design of the chamber architect Pietro Augustoni (1741-1815) from Como. The work, which started in 1760 under the supervision of Nicola Natali Battiarelli and his son Giuseppe, planned an elongation of the nave by six metres, the raising of the ceiling and the creation of a new façade. The façade, in brickwork, is made up of two levels, in the first of which a portal opens, with a carved mixtilinear cornice in the pediment, flanked by paired Tuscan pilasters. The higher section is decorated by a window with a slightly projecting cornice and by two niches containing two statues in scagliola, of the Annunciation and the Archangel Gabriel, by the sculptor Nello Cruciani (1951). The interior presents a prevalently neoclassical style in the architectural decoration, with semi-columns, pilasters with garlanded capitals supporting a high trabeation. The ceiling has lunette barrel vaulting. Of the decorations by Lorenzo Bernasconi only the statues remain showing the Theological Virtues and two small wooden angels that are supporting monograms to Mary. The rest of the decoration is by the artist Ciro Pavisa from Pesaro, who was active in the first half of the 20th century. Other works followed in the same period. Adjoining the Church is the Mons. M. Manfroni Museum of Processional Wood, where there are two Annunciation panels by the 16th century painter Durante Nobili (1518-post 1578) from Caldarola.