Chiesa di San Francesco

sights / Religious

Chiesa di San Francesco information

Ascoli Piceno , Italy
Piazza del Popolo
Opening hours
7am-12.30pm & 3.30-8pm
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This beautiful church was started back in 1262 as homage to a visit from St Francis himself. In the left nave is a 15th-century wooden cross that miraculously made it through a 1535 fire at the Palazzo dei Capitani, and has since reputedly spilled blood twice. Virtually annexed to the church is Loggia dei Mercanti , built in the 16th century by the powerful guild of wool merchants to hide their rough-and-tumble artisan shops.

The church stands on the imposing Piazza del Popolo, which since Roman times has been Ascoli's salotto (sitting room). The square, which is rectangular, is flanked on the west by the 13th-century Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo. Built in the same famed travertine stone used throughout the region for centuries, the 'Captain's Palace' was the headquarters for the leaders of Ascoli. The statue of Pope Paul III above the main entrance was erected in recognition of his efforts to bring peace to the town.