Discover Romanesque: Peoples and Legends

Saint Fridianus

According to tradition, Fridianus came from Ireland to Italy at first as a pilgrim, then as a hermit. Settled near Lucca, he soon gathered around him clergymen and priests, who helped him to build the church of Saints Martino and Vincenzo, now bearing his name.
Elected a bishop around 560, his most celebrated miracle, which reinforced his bond with the town, was the diversion of the river Serchio and the resulting reclamation of Lucca countryside. Legend holds that Frediano took a rake to trace the new course of the river; there, prodigiously, waters were immediately channelled. Traditionally, Fridianus is also attributed the evangelization of the countryside, with the foundation of 28 pievi (one for each year of his episcopate), including the following ones: Santa Maria e Santo Stefano (later, also San Giovanni Battista) Pieve di Camaiore, Sant’Ambrogio (later, also San Giovanni Battista; now San Pantaleone),  Pieve a Elici and S. Felicita (later, also San Giovanni Battista) di Valdicastello.



The time of Romanesque