Rotonda di San Tomè

Rotonda di San Tomè, Almenno San Bartolomeo: Hours, Address, Rotonda di San Tomè Reviews: 4.5/5

Rotonda di San Tomè
10:00 - 12:00, 14:30 - 16:30
10:00 - 12:00
14:30 - 16:30
10:00 - 12:00
14:30 - 16:30
10:00 - 12:00
14:30 - 16:30
10:00 - 12:00
14:30 - 16:30
10:00 - 12:00
14:30 - 16:30
10:00 - 12:00
14:30 - 17:00
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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175 within 5 kms
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155 reviews
Very good

Greenbelt, MD287 contributions
well worth a deviation and a stop, even if you are short of time
Mar 2015 • Solo
this is a small church, out in the middle of practically nowhere in this heavily populated area of Lombardia. which is to say: it sits amongst agricultural fields, not far from a couple of farmhouses and next to a small steeply-banked tree-lined creek and an old farm now turned into a museum-cum-visitor-center. it is quiet but not silent, as road noise can be heard.
you can walk around the whole perimeter in three short minutes and take-in the strong walls, more fortress-like than church-like walls (well, it is romanic architecture after all) as well as the decorations which betray its intent as a place of worship and peace, not of war.
The present building has been restored several times, and very little remains visible of the original structure, which is usually dated to around A.D. 1100, even though tradition and some scant evidence suggests that the first building on the site was built by the Romans well before Christianity spread to this area.
The style is romanic (romanesque), with a circular structure not unlike a wedding cake: three round layers, becoming smaller with height, on top of each other.
The inside is very scenic, with concentric, superimposed rings of columns, many of them recycled from some other building (possibly the original one on this site). Unfortunately the balcony was not accessible during my visit; it hosts the few remaining frescos. The capitals of the columns are interesting, although they do not compare with those on display in other churches of the same period, it should be remembered that San Tome has never been the seat of a bishop or an abbott: wealth (especially the disposable wealth to lure artists from outside-the-area) was not available here, making the perfection of lines and symmetry of the building even more unexpected. The quiet of the rural setting and beauty of the architecture encourage the visitor to relax and make room for peace and quiet in his day, until some noisy gen-Xers come to ruin it all.

The monument is open to the public on few short hours on sundays mornings and afternoons (at no charge) and upon request (and for a fee) at any other time, as long as an available and willing custodian with the correct key can be found at the nearby museum (which is also open to the public at erratic hours and days). It is best bet is to plan a visit on sundays and bring a picnic lunch, in case you arrive at the wrong time. There are no restroom facilities outside the museum compound, and only one bar/cafe/restaurant is almost within walking distance.

If you plan to visit, look for road signs or use the geographical coordinates, as entering the postal address in a navigator will take you instead to city hall (hint: look for "via Caduti Forze dell'Ordine" and take the (un-named?) short spur to the south just before entering town from the east).
This is not a destination monument; I would not suggest to anyone to plan a trip just to see this one item, as there are so may other excellent examples of romanic architecture that are much closer to the main travel routes and easier to reach. but is is certainly well worth a deviation if one happens to be in the area, and I would gladly recommend it to a friend.
Written 23 March 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bergamo, Italy240 contributions
Must to see
May 2013 • Friends
Amazing place! In middle of the fields you have this ancient round church made in stone. Fantastic atmosphere and interesting historical place. If you're in Bergamo, you should try to go there
Written 20 May 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Rotonda di San Tomè

Rotonda di San Tome is open:
  • Tue - Sun 10:00 - 12:00
  • Tue - Sun 14:30 - 17:30