The Abbey Fruttuaria
The Abbey Fruttuaria was founded at the beginning of the eleventh century by William of Volpiano in the territory of San Benigno Canavese. The original building had three aisles short cut from a transect on which there were five apse chapels: with the presence of more altars so different monks had the opportunity to celebrate the liturgy simultaneously. The walls of the transept chapels preserve colorful frescoes, with stylized motifs in imitation marble. The altar of the cross, in a central position, was the focus of all the religious space, and behind him is preserved the rotunda of the Holy Sepulcher, dating from the early phases of construction. The paving area, consisting of a series of mosaics in geometric patterns and animals placed within boxes, came to light in 1979. At the sides of the altar are preserved two panes faced with animal pairs. The north pane, very incomplete, contained two lions, to the south, best preserved, two griffins rampant separated by a plant shoot. A second band at a lower level retains within geometrically distributed panes in rhombic spaces four eagles, imperial symbol. Completing the scene other two grifi (Christological symbol) in black and white tiles and polychrome inserts. The Fruttuaria mosaics, Benedictine matrix, appear to be among the oldest present in the Piedmont area. The cloister Settecentesco, to plant at regular octagon, is the hinge element of the whole complex. During a recent restoration of masonry have emerged some elements of the Romanic phase: it is four small masonry arches, supported by capitals in truncated cone shape, supported by a column, all plastered masonry.