An astonishing baroque jewel, the church of San Barnaba dates from 1660 for the friars of the order of San Francesco di Paola. The architect was Gabriele Fontanesi, or the more famous Gaspare Vigarani. It was built on a site where a previous church had stood since 1283. The palace at the right of the church is also very interesting, and was once a convent: under its portico, a small plaque is in memory of those who died during the 1630 plague.
In the niches on the facade stand statues of the Saints Augustine, Francis, Barnaba and Michael (by the Veronese Diomiro Cignaroli) and the symbols of Faith and Hope on the portal.
The extraordinary rich interior is a masterpiece of the 18th century. The vault was frescoed in the first years of the century by Sigismondo Caula and Iacopo Antonio Mannini; the organ was built by Agostino Traeri. The canvases near the portal are works by Giuseppe Ricci (1685-1759).
In the first little chapel on the left, Madonna del Soccorso (19th century); in the first bigger chapel, of the same period, Holy Family by Giuseppe Zattera and marble altar commissioned by Ottavio Rangoni (1745). In the second one, San Francesco di Paola dates back to the late 17th century, belongs to the Roman school and is collocated in an altar by Tommaso Loraghi (1667-70). In the third chapel, Saint Bartholomew’s Martyrdom by Pier Paolo dell’Abate (1670), originally collocated in the Cathedral, and an altar by Loraghi.
At the high altar, San Barnaba (1746) and San Francesco di Paola’s miracles by Francesco Vellani; ancon and angels by Giuseppe Casalgrandi e Giuseppe Ansaloni (half 18th century); a marble altar and balustrade by Sante Giovanardi.
Coming back to the entrance, on the left from the presbytery, in the first chapel Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary, the Magdalene and Saint John by Francesco Vellani (1751); in the second one, Madonna di Guadalupe by Luigi Righi (1842); in the third, San Giovanni Nepomuceno by Luigi Manzini (1839) in an altar commissioned by the Pia Unione delle Cappe Nere.
In the last chapel, an ancient marble baptism font. Don’t miss also the delicious confessional boxes in black wood, carved by Giovan Battista Tisi in the 18th century.