Oratory of S. St. John the Baptist in S.Piero in Bagno
This oratory dedicated to Saint John the Baptist was founded by Don Ortensio Spighi and consecrated on April 29, 1655. It was under the parish of St. Piero in Bagno and was patronage of the Spighi family. It is located at the top of Via Verdi and used to be outside the walls that once surrounded the town of S. Piero in Bagno, beyond the old gate of Santa Trinità (the Holy Trinity), situated between the Market Square (now Piazza Allende) and the upper area of the town known as the "Sommo al borgo". The architecture is Tuscan. The door jambs and lintel are made of stone and are crowned with a projecting cornice entablature; the altarpiece, built in 1726, is in sandstone with capitals placed on two half columns resting on tall bases; the top of the pediment is broken by the monogram IHS. The church contains an altarpiece dated 1654, an oil on canvas depicting "St. John the Baptist and the Holy Trinity" painted by Andrea Versari on commission from Don Ortenzio Spighi. The painting was later windowed at the centre with a carved wooden frame that holds the image of Our Lady of Good Counsel. From the "Giornali di Campagna" of the Tuscany Land Register (1829), it appears that the oratory measured 131 "braccia" (arms) and was part of the Rectory of S. Piero in Vinculis, which had a small house next to it. The Oratory was partly rebuilt in the two decades following the earthquake of 1918 and completely renovated in 2003 by the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who have also restarted the custom of celebrating the feast of St. John the Baptist (June 24) with a street festival. After these recent renovations, the church was decorated with frescoes by Carmelo Puzzolo, an artist from S.Pietro, depicting scenes from the life of St. John the Baptist.
S. Piero in Bagno is 3 km from Bagno di Romagna. The Via Verdi road leads off the central Piazza Allende and the Oratory is located at No. 55. It is open for services during the month of May.