The San Francesco Church is located in the Piazza Santa Maria in the center of Acquapendente (province of Viterbo). Highlights include frescoes by Francesco Nasini and a wooden crucifix from the 13th century. The sacristy contains a Pinacotheque.
San Francesco Church Acquapendente
Address and opening hours
The address of the Chiesa di San Francesco is Piazza Santa Maria, snc – 01021 Acquapendente. The church is open on Sundays from 09:00 to 12:00.
History and description
Originally dedicated to Santa Maria, the San Francesco Church in Acquapendente was consecrated in 1149 by the then Bishop of Orvieto, Aldobrandini, and in 1253 it was entrusted to the order of Friars Minor.
Construction of the bell tower, which was designed by Raffaele da Prato began in 1506, but the work was not completed until 1534.
The church was built in a Gothic style, but after many reconstructions it now makes a baroque impression, which is mainly the result of a renovation in 1747.
What to see
The wooden crucifix at the second altar on the right dates back to the 13th century and was made by Lorenzo Maitani.
The gilded statue of the Madonna Assunta was made towards the end of the 17th century by the Fleming Carlos Duamez (second altar on the left).
The frescoes on the back wall of the choir depict the glory of paradise with the coronation of the Madonna Assunta. On the right you can see a depiction of the canonization of Saint Antonio of Padua and the opposite painting depicts his burial. These paintings are attributed to Francesco Nasini.
The 14 life-size wooden statues adorning the church represent the apostles, with John the Baptist and Joseph of Nazareth. These were made in 1751 by Giovanni Bulgarini da Piancastagnaio.
The church vault is divided into four sections and shows the allegories of the twelve virtues. The signature says F.I.L.A. 1645 or Frater Julius Leonardus Aquipendi, but the work is still attributed to Nasini.
Through the cloister of the church, which was also painted by Nasini in 1645, one enters the sacristy, where there is a Pinacotheque. It can be visited by appointment only.
The Sala dei Dipinti exhibits paintings, covering the period between the 15th and 19th centuries. Highlights are a Gothic “San Bernardino” by Sano di Pietro and a “Madonna” painted by an unknown Florentine artist. Both works date back to the 15th century. Another attraction is “The Virgin in Adoration of the Child”, which was painted by the Maestro di Marradi.
The Sala Arredi mainly holds reliquaries, including a pyramid-shaped gilded wooden cabinet from 1645. The other items date back to the 18th and 19th centuries and are displayed on a large walnut cabinet, also from the 19th century. Various altar cards, among others, can be seen in display cases along the wall.