San Pietro Martire is, quite simply, a stunning little treasure. The original church and Dominican monastery, dedicated to St John the Baptist, was built from 1363 and consecrated in 1417. A tablet on the far right of the façade commemorates this. The church then burned down in 1474 but was rebuilt and enlarged, reopening in 1511 and dedicated to St Peter Martyr.
Now wouldn't this gold couronne make the most divine ''ciel de lit" bed canopy - but I thought someone might see me leave with it under my coat!
I also, just for a second, looked at of those delicious Murano glass chandeliers; wouldn't they just make a magnificent pair of earrings, if only I could get them out!
At one side of the chapel was a small doorway pinned to which was a little paper sign with an arrow pointing towards the vestry advertising a museum of church antiques - and with a 1.50 Euro price tag. There had been no mention of such a museum outside the chapel (nor in any of the tourist literature we had read prior to our visit) so I was naturally intrigued.
And that was possibly the most wonderful 1.50 Euros I have ever spent!! The first room (the vestry itself) was breathtaking - all four walls of the room were lined with the most beautifully-carved figures.
But the next floor simply took my breath away. Row upon row of early reliquaries - some of the most amazing pieces I have ever seen.
I had to take this photograph for Tartelette; with her addiction to all-things pink, she would have adored these little pink, flame- topped jars with handworked velvet reliquaries tucked inside. All closed with a wax seal too.
I only wanted one. I would have settled for just one...I`m not greedy!!!.. but they must have known I was on my way as they were tucked away behind glass - but how wonderful to see them, along with gorgeous old vestments, religious and crosses.
And these doors too ...I so need them. Both of them please!! Aren't they just wonderful?
Rooms full of absolute treasures that no-one seemed to want to make any song and dance about! During the twenty or so minutes we spent looking at the treasures, no-one else came into those side rooms! And then we walked back outside to come face to face with the piece everyone was making a fuss about !!!!
Wonderful I know (a Murano glass 'special' in the central square) but, to me, it was not in the same league as those amazing glass jar reliquaries I had just seen.