Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta - Isola Capo Rizzuto

Numerous archival documents testify that the diocese of Asylorum, since the end of the ninth century, was among the suffragans of the Metropolia of Santa Severina.

The Cathedral underwent various vicissitudes: already in the Norman period it showed signs of decay, partially restored thanks to the intervention of Duke Ruggero, in 1092. The process of decline, however, resumed, hand in hand with that of the entire diocese which, initially extensive and flourishing, suffered the absence of the bishops, who preferred other locations, and the greed of the feudal lords who usurped its properties for centuries.

Located outside the city walls built in 1549, the Cathedral, dedicated to the Assumption, was almost entirely rebuilt thanks to the efforts of Bishop Francesco Marino: the roof was rebuilt, the bell tower was restored, it was equipped with an organ and embellished with chapels finely decorated.

Today the church has a simple basilica plan with three naves with six side chapels. On the sandstone portal, made by-1319 local workers, there is the coat of arms of Bishop Marino. The central nave has three round arches on pillars covered with marble; at the bottom of it the presbytery, with the baptismal font and the sumptuous bishop’s seat in polychrome marble dated 1758.

In the right aisle the first chapel is dedicated to the Greek Madonna or S. Maria di Nives, with the table depicting the Virgin probably dating back to the 16th century;

The first chapel in the left aisle is that of the Rosary, established in 1582 in favor of Giovanni Cochinella, vicar of the diocese, as can be read from the epigraph preserved on the left wall of the chapel itself. The second chapel is dedicated to the Assumption with a magnificent wooden altar and a partial reproduction of the Assumption by Titian, the work of Nicola Pignatari.

The third chapel is dedicated to St. Nicholas and features a reproduced Baroque altar, but with original 16th century pedestals.

The altar is in Neapolitan marble and the large painting depicting the Madonna del Rosario dominates it. The second chapel is dedicated to the Sacred Heart. The third is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and has a polychrome marble altar and a votive shrine with a statue of the Virgin Mary in the center.

The diocese which, initially extensive and flourishing, suffered the absence of the bishops, who preferred other locations, and the greed of the feudal lords who usurped its properties for centuries.
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