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St. Fermo is actually two churches built on top of one another. This church is located on the banks of the Adige River in Verona. It is actually where Saints Fermo and Rustico were tortured to death in 304 AD. The people then built a church during the fifth-sixth centuries to honor them.
Gary and I visited St. Fermo back in September 2016 and discovered the church was in the middle of a renovation. Even though there was scaffolding erected everywhere and statues covered, it was still beautiful inside. We pledged to return to see it completely renovated. In 2019 we did just that and share a photo of the restored church at the end of this post.
An especially magnificent feature of the interior of St. Fermo is the beautiful wooden hull-like ceiling that extends over the entire nave. The detailed carved ceiling is simply stunning.
The Lower Church of St. Fermo
Between 1065 and 1143 the Benedictine monks demolished the Palaeo-Christian church. To conserve the relics in the same place in which St. Annone had placed them, they built a Romanesque church on two levels; the lower church to keep the relics, and the upper to be used for religious functions.
The lower church is accessible from the ancient cloister and down the stairs. It retains the Latin cross layout with three naves divided by central pillars which bear the weight of the upper church. The frescoes throughout the bottom church as amazing – including those on the pillars!
The lower church is still used during the winter for religious services. Frankly, I thought it would be used in the summer months as it is cooler down below, but that isn’t the case.
St. Fermo in 2019
With the restoration complete, we can see the true beauty of this church. It is worth a visit on your next trip to Verona.
There are so many beautiful churches waiting to be explored in Verona. They have walking maps that you can follow and enjoy a tour through town stopping at each one of them. Stop in at the Tourist Information office and pick one up; you won’t be disappointed. Historical churches rein here in the City of Love – – Verona! Verona also has a great website for more information on Verona Churches.