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Research Projects

title. Sun, Stone, Saints

role. Researcher

date. 2019


Sun, Stones, and Saints: on the Orientation of the Church of Sant’Ambrogio alla Rienna, Montecorvino Rovella, SA, Italy


This research studies the ninth-century church of Sant’Ambrogio alla Rienna in the countryside of Montecorvino Rovella (Salerno, Italy). Specifically, it investigates its architecture, its geographical orientation, and the liturgical implications vis-à-vis a religious calendar of dates linked to the cult of Milanese saints, in the context of the second half of the ninth century in Longobardia minor. This research studied the church using morphological data directly collected during survey campaigns, comparative analysis with built details from architecture of the same periodization, and 3D data processing combined with virtual reality rendering of the natural sunlight illuminating the interior through the church windows. The research provides a better understanding of the church’s architecture and of its design features. In particular, it generates a set of insights on the workshops responsible for its construction, linking its design and several iconographic details of its interior decoration to the science and the analytical knowledge of the built environment employed by builders, artisans, artists and patrons pertaining to the Longobard and Carolingian elites and to the monastic communities active in the territories of the Principalities of Benevento and Salerno.    


This research project is part of Crossroads of Empires:The Longobard Church Of Sant'Ambrogio alla Rienna


The research project has been kindly supported by Gerda Henkel Stiftung


Church of Sant'Ambrogio alla Rienna, Occia, Montecorvino Rovella, SA