Vigo di Cadore is a small town that will surprise you with the number of religious buildings in proportion to its size and the incredible amount of art treasures that can still be seen.
Start looking inside churches in the historic centre where there are 3 sacred buildings: the parish church of San Martino, the votive Church of Difesa and the chapel of Santa Orsola.
The Church of San Martino has an ancient foundation, dating back as early as 1186, but the building you see can be traced back to the mid-16th century, although it was altered during the 18th century. Inside you can admire the beautiful triptych with St Martin between Saints Candidus and Maurice, two paintings on canvas by Cesare Vecellio depicting St Catherine of Alexandria and the beheading of John the Baptist, and the crucifixion by Valentino Panciera Besarel.
Nearby, another treasure chest awaits you: the Church of the Difesa made as a votive offering for a miracle that was worked after the descent of the troops of Maximilian I of Habsburg into Cadore. On the outside, the small church seems to have a simple volume with a single hall plan, but the inside it surprises you with its vaulted structure, 16th-century frescoes embellishing the walls, an altarpiece with St Roch and St Sebastian made by Cesare Vecellio and two large paintings of The Last Supper and The Wedding in Cana by Tommaso Da Rin.
Go into the Chapel of St Ursula, “the Scrovegni chapel of Cadore,” with walls covered in frescoes. This valuable artistic and architectural work date back to ancient times. In fact, it dates back to 1344, and was commissioned as a funerary chapel by Ainardo, son of Odorico da Vigo.
The church has a rectangular plan with a single hall without an apse and some frescoes on the façade. However, upon entering the small religious building all its beauty is revealed with a cycle of frescoes dedicated to the story of St Ursula, a precious 16th-century polychrome wooden altar made by Michele Parth, a typical example of flügelaltar, and a painting on canvas of St Lazarus attributed to Tintoretto.
To conclude your trip looking inside churches, head for Salagona to see the church of Santa Margherita. The small building, surrounded by meadows and woods, is the oldest in the whole province. Here, you can admire a precious cycle of frescoes of Byzantine inspiration dedicated to St Margaret. On the walls you will be able to make out two strips, the lower one with decorative motifs and the upper one with descriptive scenes.