Piazza Martiri Della Libertà, Teramo
The cathedral, symbol of the Teramo, is consecrated to the town bishop and patron saint Berardo, Count of Pagliara. It was built as from 1158, after that the old church of Santa Maria Aprutiensis had been destroyed in 1155 by the army of Robert, Count of Loretello. In the Thirties of the twentieth century the church was detached from the surrounding buildings but the renovation did not affect the original façade, encircled at the top with merlots, and the Romanic portal, dated 1332 and carved by Diodato Romano, with fifteenth-century ornaments, like the group representing the Annunciation by Nicola da Guardiagrele. In 1493 Antonio from Lodi added to the twelfth-century belfry a high octagonal spire with polychrome ceramic insets, which will be reproduced in other near-by towns, such as Atri, Penne, Città Sant'Angelo and Loreto Aprutino. The restoration of 1932-35 deeply altered the interior of the cathedral, removing the ornamental and architectural structures added in 1739 by Lazzaro Giosaffatti from Ascoli. Nowadays the inside, in bare stone, as maybe it used to be in the twelfth century, consists of a nave and two aisles with a cupola in the middle. The ending part of the choir, in fourteenth-fifteenth-century style, with large ogival arches on high pillars, was carried out on the initiative of the bishop Niccolò degli Arcioni as an extension of the church. A magnificent silver frontal representing scenes from the Gospel and saints, embosomed by Nicola da Guardiagrele between 1433 and 1448, hangs over the central altar. Inside the Baroque chapel of Saint Berardo an excellent frontal overhangs: attributed to Jacobello del Fiore, it portrays the Virgin's coronation and the town of Teramo as it appeared in the fifteenth century; it was moved to the Cathedral from its primary location in the church of Saint Agustin.