Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio


With its distinctive chequerboard facade and strong links to Italy’s much admired hermit-pope Celestino V (whose remains are interred inside), the 12th-century Collemaggio is the church for which Aquilinos reserve most affection. Structurally damaged in the 2009 earthquake, its lengthy renovation project (initiated in 2012) took five years to complete. The details of how it was done are chronicled inside and provide an interesting coda to the church’s roller-coaster history.