The Basilica of San Francesco is the historically most important church in Amatrice. It is located right next to the Palazzo Comunale and was built between the late 14th and early 15th centuries.
I originally wrote this page several years before the earthquakes of 2016 and 2017. Unfortunately, no restoration works have been executed yet after the disaster almost completely destroyed the basilica.
Basilica of San Francesco Amatrice
The address of the Basilica di San Francesco is Piazza San Francesco – 02012 Amatrice.
History and description
Originally, this church was dedicated to Santa Maria Vergine. It is located on the south side of the city.
The interior is characterized by a single nave. Until the 16th century, the walls were completely covered with frescoes. These were uncovered and restored between 1914 and 1934 and depict the history of Mary, Jesus and of the Franciscan saints.
The facade has a rose window and a beautiful Gothic entrance made of travertine marble. The lunette above the entrance shows a terracotta sculpture group of the “Virgin on the Throne with Child.” The sides are accented by pillars.
On the cobblestoned square in front of the basilica there is a large cross.
What to see
Near the side wall is an impressive altar from the 17th century, decorated with carvings by local artist Giovan Battista Giglio and then painted in gold and blue. This altar is dedicated to the Madonna della Filetta and a reliquary is kept in the form of a cameo made by the goldsmith Pietro Vannini in 1472. The 16th-century marble bust represents Camillo Orsini, and a wooden pulpit carved in Baroque style is also on display.
The monastery was already built by the friars minor in the 13th century. A major renovation took place in the 16th century. In 1809 the monastery was banned and its properties expropriated by Gioacchino Murat in the name of the Kingdom of Naples, which then controlled the area.
The barracks of the Carabinieri immediately adjacent to the basilica formerly served as Palazzo della Pretura and even earlier as a church (the Chiesa di Sant’Antonio).