our lady of Itria

The Church of Our Lady of Itria, "Sa Ittiri" for the people of Paulesi, is perhaps the oldest in the country. The first written document is found in the register of marriages where we read that on January 15, 1516 "Inpera de Serra and Susanna Coco anta leadu benediction insa eclesia de Nostra Segnora" (translated by Inpera De Serra and Susanna Coco have contracted blessing in the church of Nostra Mrs).

The current plant should date back to 1700. The original construction dates back to 1516 and has undergone various interventions, modifications and additions over time. The church has a rectangular plan with a nave with three altars, one central and two side, located in the historic center of Paulilatino and gives the name to the district "Su chinau de Sa Ittiri". (Rione dell'Itria)

In Romanesque style, its façade faces west, vertically divided into three compartments by two tripartite pilasters. In the central compartment opens the rectangular portal, preceded by three steps, above it a ogival occhialone with a frame of red trachyte, closed by a glazed window.

In the center of the flat top is placed the flowered and radiated wrought iron cross. The two symmetrical side compartments are connected to the central one by means of a curvilinear molding. The bell gable, with a rectangular plan, is merged with the façade on the left side; it has only one light with a slightly pointed arch and the roof with two pitches with the cross in red trachyte at the top with the ends of the arms worked in lily and tripartite. The interior has a nave divided into three spans with round arches that support the two-pitched roof, the original roof consisted of two sloping wooden pitches, later replaced by a reinforced brick floor that required the immediate realization of the buttresses (second half of the twentieth century).

At the bottom is the square-shaped capilla mayor with the main altar on which is placed the ancient statuary group that portrays Our Lady of Itria; on the sides before the presbytery two chapels, the one on the left consecrated to Our Lady of Itria (modern statuary group), in San Costantino emperor, the right one. The bottom of the two chapels is curvilinear with semicircle, the presbytery has a linear wall, the door to the sacristy and two windows.

The left wall is separated from the inhabited by a narrow space; It is made of polymorphic black basalt stones with exposed faces and the edges topped with white lime, like all other walls. It has a side door in the middle part, a room with a square plan between the bell tower and the first buttress and the sacristy between the back wall and the last buttress. The right wall has a second side door, several windows and the pushing wall of the first arch, looking south towards the plain, formerly marshy and the exterior of the town, from which it is separated from the vast parvis.

During the restoration of the apse vault, a fresco probably dating back to the restoration period has been brought to light; also the walls show some residual frescoes later covered with plaster.

During the festivities dedicated to O.L. of Itria and San Costantino, in the past, one could attend the gathering of harnessed horses, which at the end of the priest's blessing words began the rounds around the sanctuary (ardia), while the people took shelter to avoid being overwhelmed by horses. Nowadays instead the procession takes place with the statue of the saint, from the church of the Intria to the parish, before the Mass takes place S'ardia, once the mass is over the procession ends bringing the statue of the saint to his church.