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Church of San Francesco

Church of San Francesco - Calvi dell'Umbria

The church of San Francesco and the convent of San Berardo are placed approximately 500 meters far from the walls of Calvi, on a hilly crest between the valleys of Otricoli and Magliano Sabina at the intersection of the old road to Narni.

According to the tradition, they were built on land owned by San Berardo's family. In 1213 San Berardo was a young Calvese won over by the preaching of San Francesco, the "Poor man of Assisi".

Berardo followed him and was sent to bring the Gospel to Morocco, where he was martyred with five other Brothers.

There is documentary evidence from 1291 about the early church, originally dedicated to St. Victoria, and about the adjoining small oratory.

The north wall, the façade of the church and the small oratory are preserved from the original architectural complex. The oratory is contains two rooms, one of which is raised. It was incorporated into the rear building after being looted and set fire by Landsknechte mercenary soldiers in 1527.

The church, built of local limestone and oriented in the canonical way, was restored several times during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It has a square-shaped facade topped by a tympanum with the unusual presence of a single hall with a barrel vault with 10 side chapels, and it holds some valuable paintings.

The little piazza in front of the church leads to the square cloister, with a thirteenth century well at its centre. On the walls there are the remains of frescoes depicting scenes from the life of San Francesco from the second half of the seventeenth century.

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