Fontignano: Tomb of Perugino
After your visit to Panicale, you might want to visit Perugino’s tomb in nearby Fontignano. (Use your GPS and pay careful attention.)
Perugino was working in the area between 1521 and 1522 — most notably on the fresco in San Sebastiano in Panicale. He had completed a small Virgin Mary with Child in the Church of Annunziata (wall on the right side of altar). He had not yet completed a Nativity and the Adoration of the Shepherds above altar gallery when he died of the plague. (The Victoria and Albert Museum now possesses the original fresco. A replica is shown in the church.) He was buried nearby, as was normal with plague victims, instead of being return to Città delle Pieve, his birthplace, or Perugia, from which his name is taken. So the great painter is to be found in the humblest of churches. In 1940 his bones were placed in a simple marble monument on the right hand side of the church.
This jaunt to Fontignano has got to be one of the most difficult Umbrian expeditions I’ve set out on so finding his tomb was somewhat of a triumph. (Even with the GPS.) The church is so nondescript I actually passed it twice. (Look for the large cypress trees out front that nearly engulf the building.) However, to stand inside this simple church and spend a moment in front of his ossuary was certainly worth the effort.
PARKING: There are a few spots across the street from the Chiesa dell’Annunziata.
On your handheld, click View larger map for directions. If the church is not open, which it most probably will not be, call the number on the sign and someone should come right over.