Church of Saint Francis of Assisi (Alcamo)
History and museums
The Church of Saint Francis from Assisi is a 16th-century-style church dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi and located in Alcamo, in the Italian province of Trapani.
Though according to the historiographic tradition the church had been built between the years 1224 and 1226 by Angelo of Rieti, one of Saint Francis' fellows, the document of the church's acquisition by the Sicilian province, sealed by Pope Clement VI, dates back to1348.
Between 1379 and1380 it was reconstructed.
Since the 16th century, Saint Francis'church gave the name to one of the oldest quarters in Alcamo, together with the other three of San Giacomo de Spada, San Calogero e Maggiore Chiesa.
The church was rebuilt for the second time between 1608 e il 1648: in this period it was first demolished and later rebuilt, then it was enlarged in 1716. After the 1968 Belice earthquake, in order to repair the damages suffered by the Church and the convent, there was another restoration which lasted since 1975 until 1976.
The church is with a nave and a side chapel dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. The contiguous bell tower is one of the only parts which has remained unaltered as to the original project. Next to the Church there are the Franciscan cloister and the Immacolata Brotherhood's oratory.
Inside the Church nave there are a marble altarpiece entitled "Madonna with a child”, which is considered a work by Domenico Gagini (1586), and two marble sculptures representing the Maddalena and Saint Mark ascribed to Antonello Gagini (1520). At the base of the Maddalena's statue there is the representation of a ladder and the Scalisi family's coat of arms which got it to be realized. Inside the Immacolata's chapel there is a painting showing the '"Immacolata", made by Giuseppe Carrera in 1610 and restored in1980. In the same chapel until 1884 there were 34 pictures of saints, which had been added in 1613 thanks to the Confraternita of Immacolata Concezione's brothers, who had their names written on them. In a niche of the chapel there is also the wooden statue of Maria Santissima Immacolata, carved in 1695 by Ignazio Ingrassia, a wood-carver from Trapani. In the chapel there are also four paintings realized by Rosalino la Mattina and representing the most important moments of the Virgin's Conception and a marble altar made in 1951 by Giovan Battista Di Girolamo from Castellammare del Golfo.
Inside the confraternity's oratory there is a painting of San Giuseppe Benedetto of Labre realized in 1888 by Nicolò Pizzitola, a painter from Alcamo.