What you will see in Val di Zoldo churches is not only a heritage made up of sculptures, paintings, and sacred furnishings, but a set of traditions, culture and devotion that give these environments an atmosphere that begs to be experienced and discovered first-hand.
The first church to see is the archpriest’s church of San Floriano, the matrix of all churches in Val di Zoldo. You will immediately notice the famous Altar of Souls by Andrea Brustolon. In front of this Baroque masterpiece, you will be moved by the faces of the suffering souls, the masterfully realized anatomical rendering of the figures, and the movement of the scene. Along with the altar by “the Michelangelo of Wood”, other works, such as sculptures by Valentino Panciera Besarel and an altarpiece by Agostino Ridolfi, embellish this sacred building.
Also by Valentino Panciera Besarel are the splendid crucifix and the solemn altar of the Church of the Addolorata in Pieve di Zoldo, where you can also see an interesting example of a 15th-century vesperbild in painted sandstone, and a beautiful painting on canvas of the Madonna between St Anthony Abbot and St Florian painted by Cesare Vecellio.
But perhaps the most significant church for this sculpture in Val di Zoldo is the church of Santi Fabiano e Sebastiano in Astragal in Val di Zoldo, birthplace of the Panciera Besarel family. In the chapel dedicated to Caravaggio’s Blessed Virgin, there is an angel holding a scroll with writings to remember the accident that caused Valentino Panciera Besarel, whose work was appreciated all over the world at that time, to lose 5 fingers on his right hand. However, the accident did not stop him from working.
Next, stop at the church of San Tiziano in Goima where you can see a valuable Flügelaltar along with other art treasures. The casement casket contains painted statues of the Madonna and Child between St Titian the Bishop and St Anthony the Abbot and, in relief on the doors, St Catherine of Alexandria and St Florian.
Head to the beautiful hamlet of Zoppè di Cadore where, in the Church of Sant’Anna, you can admire the high altarpiece attributed to Titian’s workshop, along with more recent works by Fiorenzo Tomea and Masi Simonetti, two artists from Zoppè di Cadore.
End your trip to the churches of Val di Zoldo in the hamlet of Mareson by seeing inside the parish church of San Valentino.
Inside, the most striking piece is the high altar, the last major work designed and partly completed by Andrea Brustolon. There is also an altarpiece by the Venetian Girolamo Brusaferro depicting the Madonna and Child, St Nicholas and St Valentine pointing to the sick young man laid at his feet.