The Church of San Francesco at Piediluco
Piediluco is one of the places in southern Umbria where St.Francis frequently stopped off and stayed. He stopped there before resuming his journey towards Greccio and of his presence in Piediluco remains the memory of some episodes told by Tommaso da Celano, biographer of the Saint. However the outstandig reminder of the bond between the Saint of Assisi and Piediluco remains above all the majestic church dedicated to him, which has become a Franciscan sanctuary and a destination for pilgrims who walk down the Via di Francesco. Commissioned at the end of the 13th century by Oddone Brancaleoni, feudal lord of the place, the works for its construction ended in 1338. The master mason of the construction site, Pietro Damiani of Assisi, had to obviate the unevenness of the site by setting the axis of the building in a north-south direction, an arrangement that did not conform to the medieval canonical one which set a west-east orientation. This stone building stands at the top of a high staircase and has three single-light windows and two portals. Of these,the one on the left is decorated in the crowning of the arch with elements related to fishing,on which in the past the livelihood of the local inhabitants depended. Above these decorations, you can admire a small niche with the Agnus Dei inside. The bell tower on the right side of the facade was added in the first half of the 19th century to replace the original one that was destroyed and placed on the opposite side. The paintings that decorate the interior, whose single nave is marked by six arches,are of artistic value. These are mainly frescoes from the 16th century. On the left wall there are "Madonna Enthroned with Child between St. Sebastian and St. Francis of Assisi", "Madonna with Child between Saints Joseph and Anthony of Padua" by Marcantonio Aquili. Also on the left wall are the images of "Sant’Agata, Sant’Antonio Abate, San Giacomo Maggiore, San Benedetto, Sant’Apollonia d’Alessandria". In the apse there are depictions of "St. Francis among Saints Anthony of Padua, Bernadino, Ludovico and Bonaventura". Also in the apse there is a wooden Crucifix from the 15th century, which is linked to the feast of the Good Jesus which is celebrated on January 14th. The right wall is frescoed with a "Madonna enthroned, crowned by angels between San Sebastian and San Francesco d'Assisi”. The church also preserves some relics of St. Francis donated by the Sacred Convent of Assisi.
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