Sacred Hermitage St. Francis' Cave

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Bureau d’accueil touristique
Via Cassian Bon, 4 - 05100 Terni

The Narni's Cave, immersed in the green, in a dominant position over the valley, is the most ancient Franciscan place of Valnerina. 

Francis of Assisi reached it in 1213: here he listened to the sound of the angel's viola and turned water into wine.

In this place it's possible to perceive the typical spirit of the Saint of Assisi: mysticism, poetry, love, peace. Francis of Assisi often withdrew in solitude in the small church and higher in the wood in a rock's fissure. He also spent here a period of sickness, during which friars built for him, next to the cave, a stone small cell with a wood roof.

The small cloister dates back to the 1400, when St. Bernardino from Siena arranged for a dormitory to be built, whose windows overlook on the central part of the building, as well as the refectory that is possible to visit.

In the cloister it's possible to admire the chapel of St. Silvester, brought to light with the latest restoration and where frescoes of 1300 are preserved. From the chapel, through a narrow corridor, one reaches the room enclosing the pit, mentioned by Fioretti and Tommaso da Celano, where the water that the sick St. Francis turned into wine was drawn.

The convent's church dates back to the end of 1500, it's very simple and preserves in the chapel a beautiful mother-of-pearl marquetry cross, executed by a Franciscan friar, and an original chalice because of the material used for its creation. Walking uphill you will reach the cell of St. Francis where the "bed" made by four uneven woods is preserved. Next to the cell there is the chapel with walls decorated with frescoes reproducing the episodes happened in this place. On the left, coming out, it's possible to see the big fissure in the rock.

Today the hermitage is characterized as a house for prayer.