Church of S. Giorgio
As you walk away from the centre of San Polo towards Oderzo, after a few kilometres you will see a small bell tower on the right; It is part of the Church of San Giorgio, which stands amidst the vineyards, farmers’ fields and old houses in the heart of the village of the same name. The church was built near the ancient Roman road alongside the River Piave that went from Oderzo to Feltre and Trento. Inside there are vivid 15th century frescos. They include pictures of saints and the Virgin Mary, two surviving scenes from the story of Saint George and a very special Last Supper.
In addition to the lamb on a tray, red prawns stand out on the table cloth, along with an array of crab claws and dishes of sliced fish. Prawns and red wine have always been typically associated with this area and still today they are a speciality of San Polo di Piave’s cuisine, so it is possible that the painter wanted to depict the religious event in a local setting. The painting shows the point in the Last Supper when Christ announces the betrayal of Judas. Those at the table are questioning each other before the start of the meal, the round loaves of bread are still intact and only Christ has broken off a piece. He is giving it to Judas, who is sitting in front of him with the money bag in his hand.
There were already people living in San Giorgio in Roman times. This is proven by archaeological finds made during restoration work. The remains of an aqueduct near the church would seem to indicate that San Giorgio was used as farm land to be given as a reward to veterans of the Roman army. Interest in the area continued under the Lombards, as shown by the 7th century sarcophagus that was once closed behind a wall in the south-west corner of the building and is now used as an altar. Some old graves that have been discovered under the vestry show that there was a church here in the Middle Ages before the current structure, which dates back to the 15th century.
Photos: Group for San Giorgio