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Museum complex Saint Francis at Montefalco

Museum complex Saint Francis at Montefalco

There is a pearl of rare beauty at Montefalco, which together with the Sagrantino wine, it makes unique this village: we are talking about the church of Saint Francis built between 1335 and 1338 by the Friars Minor and then turned into a museum in 1990 whit the rooms of the adjacent convent.

It shines with its own light the excellence of the complex: it is the cycle of the frescoes in the apse of the church, which in 1452 the master Benozzo Gozzoli – also creator of the frescoes into the chapel of Saint Jerome – he dedicates to Saint Francis’s life with twenty poignant episodes, commissioned by the cultured ordered Friar Jacopo from Montefalco and masterfully restored  in the year 2000.

Observe with care these decorations, from the Saint’s birth to Francis who gives his clothes to a poor soldier, from the sermon to the birds to the institution of the crib celebration at Greccio: these are among the most important Renaissance cycles preserved.

In an episode in particular, the master points out the importance of the vine cultivation for the town: it is the scene of Saint Francis who blesses Montefalco, on the backdrop of a pleasant and a delightful countryside. And he refers again to Sagrantino, always in apse of the church, painting the table with red wine on the altar of the knight from Celano. These are features that leak out the awareness and the love that the Florentine artist had for the Umbrian town.

On the wall facing the apse there’s another landmark of Umbrian painting, the Perugino, he will make you weep with his sweet Nativity of the 1503.

In the Art Gallery you can see some canvas, tables and detached frescoes from other churches of the area, and a collection of textile works, among liturgical hangings, altar cloth, cushion covers, curtains, fragments of embroidered fabrics, shawls, shoes.

Save some time to see the exhibition of archaeological remains found inside medieval buildings, hosted into the museum crypt,  and in particular to see the old wineries of the Franciscan monastery, always inside the complex, with some tanks for collecting and for pressing perfectly preserved.

At the end of the tour, you will deserve a break in the cafeteria space dedicated to the great Benozzo, where you will taste and buy some local excellences, like the Sagrantino of Montefalco, more than a wine, it is another artistic expression of this land.

Museum Complex of Saint Francis, via Ringhiera Umbra, 6, tel. +39 0742.379598

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