SAN FRANCESCO ALLE SCALE

This Church of San Francesco alle Scale is located in the eponymous square in the old town, tucked among the alleys near the Cathedral. Originally named Santa Maria Maggiore, after the Assumption, the church was the largest in town dedicated to Mary.

The first stone of this peculiar church was laid by Bishop Nicola degli Ungari on August 15th, 1323. In the 15th century, the convent was enlarged, and the stairway was built to allow access directly from the street below.

In 1790, renowned architect Francesco Maria Ciaraffoni remodeled the interior of the church and raised the facade. Shortly afterwards, during the French occupation, the church was used as barracks by Napoleon’s troops. It was then closed to worship in 1852 and later used as a hospital. Then, in the early 20th century and until 1953, the church housed the Museum, the Library and the Civic Art Gallery.

Today, this single-nave church features stunning masterpieces, such as the “Baptism of Christ” by Pellegrino Tibaldi, and a spectacular “Assumption” by Lorenzo Lotto, that will inspire many Counter-Reformation artists.

Reasons to visit:

  • An unusual building
  • The two masterpieces it holds
  • Beautiful location

Opening hours and contact:

Winter timetable
From Monday to Sunday from 8.00 am to 20 pm
On Sunday from 8 am to noon.

Summer timetable
From Monday to Sunday from 8.00 am to 19 pm
On Sunday from 8 am to noon.

The mass is held on Sunday at 11.45 am except in the month of July and August.

Devoted volunteers take care of the opening of the church. Timetable may not always be punctual.
Please avoid visits during celebrations or keep silent.

Phone: +39 3396289287

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