The Abbey fo the Saints Ruffino and Vitale is located right across from the Santi Vincenzo and Anastasio Abbey in the San Ruffino borough of Amandola in the Marche region. The church stands on the banks of the Tenna River. Currently, due to damage caused by the 2016 earthquake, the church is not accessible.
Abbey of Saints Ruffino and Vitale Amandola
Address: Contrada S. Ruffino, 5, 63857 Amandola (phone: +39 0736847406). Opening hours of the church: from 09.00 to 19.00 hrs. Entrance fee: Free of charge.
History and description
The abbey was built in the 11th century. The oldest written reference dates back to the year 1023. Previously, a primitive church built in the Romanesque style stood on this site. The crypt of this church, in the 6th centuty excavated in the tuff stone, has been preserved. The only opening is a small window at the level of the apse.
The monastery is on the south side of the grounds and consists of two floors and a central courtyard. The monastery is connected to the church by a bell tower erected in the 13th century.
After a severe earthquake in 1997, in which the church suffered extensive damage, it was restored in 2002.
The church has been constructed multiple times over the centuries and therefore almost nothing remains of its original form. The facade is characterized by a portal with two windows on either side and a window added in the 18th century to the upper level.
The interior consists of three naves, the middle one being the widest. The walls are decorated with frescoes painted in the 15th century. The presbytery is raised in relation to the rest of the church. The crypt is entered via two staircases at the end of the naves.
The crypt has a ceiling of cross vaults and consists of five naves. The walls are decorated with paintings, some of which date from the late Imperial period. It is not known what the function of the crypt was.
The relics of San Ruffino are kept under the altar. Underneath is a hole over which people suffering from hernia need to crawl three times, in order to be cured.
Every year on August 19, the Fiera dei Santi Vitale e Ruffino takes place. There are market stalls selling traditional food and musicians playing folk music from the area with local instruments. This feast is said to be traced back to a battle between the municipalities of Montefortino (on whose side Amandola fought) and Monte San Martino. It took place on August 19, 1306.