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Church of St Francis

The Church of St. Francis in Rieti is one of the most important religious buildings in the city, being the second church in the world dedicated to St. Francis, after the Basilica of the same name in Assisi. Built between 1245 and 1253, the church and its complex, which includes a convent and an oratory dedicated to San Bernardino, testify to the saint’s deep ties with the region. Francis of Assisi visited Rieti on several occasions and left a significant mark, founding oratories and writing important works such as the Canticle of the Creatures. The church is also a place of devotion to St. Anthony of Padua, with a statue of the saint that is a protagonist of the traditional Ceri procession.

The structure of the church presents a Romanesque-Gothic style with Baroque additions, especially visible in the side chapels. The annexed convent, which became an important seminary in the 17th century, was elevated by St. Bonaventure in 1260 to “head of the custody of Rieti”, overseeing fifteen convents. The frequent flooding of the Velino river led to the raising of the church floor in 1636. The interior, with a Latin cross floor plan and a single nave, houses richly decorated chapels, among which the Chapel of St. Anthony is noteworthy for its altar with columns and gilded stuccoes.

  • Address
    Via S. Francesco, 02100 Rieti, Italy
  • Web
  • Visiting Hours
  • What to see
    Chapel of St Anthony

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