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The Church of San Francesco

The Church of San Francesco was initially a Spedale (Hospital) of the Knights Hospitaller dedicated to St John around 1200. With the moving of the Via Francigena route from the road through the hills to that on the valley floor, the church found itself serving as a shelter for pilgrims and travellers on their way to Rome and Jerusalem, as well as being the location of the hospital of the Knights of Malta.

In 1300, the church became a place of great prestige, reuniting within its walls the important Order of the Wool; on the facade of the building adjacent to the church, there is a circular panel with the depiction of the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) on it, a symbol of the ancient guild.
Around 1500, the place was dedicated to St Francis, as the Franciscan friars moved there when their convent outside Porta San Giovanni was closed. Today, all that is left of the ancient church, after its demolition in 1700 by a private individual who had bought it, is the Romanesque-Pisan style facade with a dead-end tunnel with five arches and arched openings made of white travertine marble. The horizontal facade is furrowed by dark lines of serpentine rock. The portal opens up in the largest arch, where you can see a monolithic lunette with the eight-pointed Maltese Cross in the centre inserted within a circle.

  • Progetto finanziato a valere sui fondi Legge n. 77 del 20 febbraio 2006 “Misure speciali di tutela e fruizione dei siti italiani di interesse culturale, paesaggistico e ambientale, inseriti nella “lista del patrimonio mondiale”, posti sotto la tutela dell’UNESCO”