The town of Montefranco
The village of MONTEFRANCO,a small town on a hill in the Valnerina Ternana, with a splendid panoramic position all around, recalls its origin in the toponym. Which is linked to a historical episode that took place in 1228, the year in which a group of inhabitants of Arrone not wanting to submit to the dominion of the local lord, settled on the Bufone hill (in front of Arrone) and built a new castle here. In the name that was given to him, Montefranco, the acquired condition of a free place was sanctioned.
The village, whose older nucleus dates back to the 9th century, retains part of the appearance and some features of the medieval castle. Porta Franca and Porta Spoletina are the main evidence of this. Besides its panoramic views of Montefranco has beautiful sights. Starting with its churches. Like that of San Pietro (18th century) where the painting "The Immaculate Conception with the Saints" attributed to Stefano Pozzi is preserved. In via Giuseppe Garibaldi, attention is drawn to the particular "fountain of the Wolves" which features two sculptures in the shape of a wolf's head from which water gushes. Of artistic interest is also the church of the “Madonna del Carmine”, located outside the town; the frescoes of the Umbrian school of the seventeenth century and an "Ascension" of the fifteenth century are appreciated.
In Montefranco the memory of the passage in 1444 of San Bernardino da Siena is still very vivid. He lived there for some time, before resuming the journey to L'Aquila. Some memorable episodes related to the presence of the Saint in Montefranco, of which he is Patron, are recalled on the occasion of the annual celebrations in his honor.The convent complex located in Monzano, on the outskirts of the town, is dedicated to San Bernardino. It stands on the place where, according to tradition, the Franciscan Saint made spring water gush out and was built around 1454, after the faithful obtained authorization from Pope Nicholas V. In reality, a small church already existed here (datable between the 12th and 13th centuries) probably dedicated to San Primiano and where San Bernardino stopped off. During the construction of the complex, the pre-existing church was transformed. Of great artistic value are the frescoes on the walls of the oratory, painted in the 15th century and attributed to the workshop of Bernardino Campilio. It depicts the "Madonna and Child Enthroned and Saints Sebastian and Francis of Assisi" (back wall) and the "Saints Bernardino and Antonio da Padova" (side wall). A recent restoration has restored these paintings to their original splendor.