The Museo “Le Mummie di Ferentillo” is hosted inside the crypt of the Church of Santo Stefano, right in the city center of Ferentillo.
The church was built in the 15th century on top of another pre-existing religious building becoming the crypt.
The very simple façade is characterized by a central rose window decorated with small sculptures, below which stands the white stone entrance portal, sided by two orders of lesene, showing the Coat of Arms of Lorenzo Cybo and of the Lateran Chapter at the base of the pilasters.
The inner part of the church has a three-nave structure, and in the apse, which is circular and in Baroque style, two small loggias open with their Rococo wooden balustrade. A large canvas depicting St Stephan Martyrdom, work of the painter Giuseppe Rosi (1759), is at the center. It is worth mentioning the fresco of Pierino Cesarei, dated 1595, depicting the Nativity and the splendid baptismal font. A tabernacle—to preserve the consecrated oils—dating from the 16th century is set on the presbytery, on the pillar to the right. Some mummies are preserved in the Romanesque crypt. They were discovered in 1805, when an edict from Napoleon ordered the exhumation of the corpses contained in churches. Twenty mummified bodies are held visible inside the shrines; the oldest one dates from about four centuries ago, while the most recent one is from the 19th century. The conservation of the corps is due to some peculiar microorganisms present in the
soil and the constant ventilation of the place.
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