Around the second half of the 17th century, devotion for the Twin Saints Cosma and Damiano (also known as the “Santi Medici”) started gaining in importance in Alberobello. Initially, a very small chapel in the countryside held an image of the saints, alongside an image of the Virgin. Eventually, however, the small country chapel was not large enough to house the faithful who wished to worship the twins and the current church was commissioned. If you’re looking for things to do in Alberobello, you should definitely visit the Basilica Minore dei Santi Medici, the church built to house the growing number of devotees to Saints Cosma and Damiano. It was built in the 19th century in Neoclassical style; the façade is interrupted by long pilaster strips and by ribbed columns topped with Corinthian capitals.
There are also two smooth Roman columns topped by composite capitals. Seventeen steps lead towards the main door, which represents the Beatitudini of the Gospel. The left side is decorated with images of poor people, people who are crying and people who are looking for justice, while the right side is decorated with the merciful, the pure of heart, the pacifists and those who suffer. The door itself is decorated with the four moral virtues, while elsewhere the theological virtues are depicted. Other decorations include images of a Crucified Christ and of the Saints. Of note within the church there is the red altar, as well as various painted panels, mosaics and frescoes.
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