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Church of San Francesco

Church of San Francesco

The Church of San Francesco, consecrated in 1291, has undergone considerable change and extensions over the centuries. 

The bell tower, destroyed by an earthquake, was rebuilt in 1452.
The interior of the church has a single nave and it was completely rebuilt in the Baroque style between 1707 and 1727. The stucchi are by Antonio Milli, while the ceiling medallions, representing St. Francis, St. Anthony and St. Joseph of Cupertino, are by Lucantonio Angiolucci from Città di Castello.


Entering the church, at the end on the left it is the Vitelli Chapel built towards the middle of 1500 by Giorgio Vasari on commission of the Marquise Gentilina Della Staffa Vitelli, mother of Paolo and Chiappino, buried here with Nicholas Vitelli the "Father of the Nation ", who died on January 6 1486. The large panel depicting the Coronation of the Virgin is also by Vasari. 

On the sides of the chapel are  finely carved choir stalls with fine inlay and ink drawings attribute to local artists of the 16th century following drawings left by Raphael. The wrought iron gate is the work of master Pietro Ercolano of Città di Castello in 1567. Also on the left is a terracotta of St. Francis receiving the stigmata by the school of Della Robbia; in front is the painting of the Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew, by Giovan Battista Pacetti, known as "The Sguazzino", born in Città di Castello in 1593.

On the altar of St. Joseph, belonging to Albizzini family, there was the Marriage of the Virgin by Raphael painted in 1504, now replaced by a copy. In 1798 it was taken by General Lechi, the commander of Napoleon's troops. Since 1805 it has been in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan. The church also Luca Signorelli's painting The Adoration of the Shepherds, now  at the National Gallery in London.

The monolithic 14th centuray high altar is attributed to the Blessed Giacomo, a friar and skilled marble worker. The apse houses a beautiful walnut choir of the eighteenth century. Above the choir stalls is a large mechanical organ in 1763, still used for concerts.

Fonte: IAT Città di Castello
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