FOSSANO, Church of Saint Filippo
Church and convent
Here once stood the house of the Ancina brothers who were both followers of the Filippini congregation in Rome. To honour the devotion of the Fossano people to these brothers, the city administration had a chapel built in 1635 dedicated to the Visitation of Mary. In 1651 the building was renovated by Giovenale Boetto. Just half a century later, the congregation had to expand the church to contain the ever-growing group of worshippers: work started in 1706, but the author of the project of the new building of San Filippo is unknown. Only the part of the portico on the left side of the convent remains today, while the church dominates the surrounding urban fabric, characterised by the low houses of the Borgo Vecchio.
The church was built between 1706 and 1713. The façade is characterized by a terracotta wall, livened up by pairs of twin columns supporting a curvilinear and lowered tympanum at the top. There were two wooden statues depicting St Peter and St Paul in the side niches, which disappeared at the end of the sixties of the last century. The main gate is surmounted by a frescoed panel dated to 1739.
The church has a central nave with side chapels that are linked together to seem like aisles. The interior is completely covered with frescoes executed between 1718 and 1739 by the same authors that work almost simultaneously in the Confraternity of the Battuti Rossi: the brothers Giovanni Pietro and Pietro Antonio Pozzo, co-working with Michele Antonio Milocco. On the vault of the nave is the painting of the Glory of St Philip Neri and in the presbytery, there is the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The fake architecture on the back wall is fascinating, amplifying the space and deceives our eye with incredible skill. In the centre there is the canvas with the Visitation that Sebastiano Taricco had painted for the previous church in 1682. A fun fact: among the marbled decorations and the fake architecture, we find some writings that indicate the dates when the frescoes were executed, but also landscapes, views and figures of damsels, children and old people.
If the painted architecture captures the visitor who enters in San Filippo, then it should be noted that the decoration of the church is almost exclusively sculptural. The four side chapels have marble and stucco monumental altarpieces; each one of them houses a wooden statue of exquisite workmanship: St Philip Neri, Saint Anne with Baby Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary with Saint Joseph. The Crucifix is by the Lugano sculptor Carlo Giuseppe Plura as is the Immaculate Conception (from the Confraternity of the Gonfalone). There are four reliquary busts on the high altar, seventeenth century work of a master from the Ligurian area.
The sacristy and the crypt
The sacristy has a decorated vault with late eighteenth-century frescoes and has rich wooden furniture with closets and counters. The overdoors depict biblical scenes to be assigned to a follower of Beaumont. Below the high altar is the cemetery crypt, which is still not accessible, for the sepulchres of the Filippini fathers.
Direction: Paolo Ansaldi
Post-Production: VDEA Produzioni
Translations: Europa 92
Copywriter and research: Laura Marino
ROTARY CLUB Cuneo 1925
Claudio Mana, don Davide Pastore, Federica Panero