St. Michael's Church
Not much is left today of Greccio’s ancient fortification, and old buildings have been transformed throughout the centuries. In the 17th century, for example, the biggest one among the castle’s defensive towers found new life as a bell tower for St. Michael’s Church, which had been built three centuries before.
Consecrated to the patron saint that Greccio shares with Contigliano and Rivodutri, the collegiate church is located in the higher part of the village, where the heart of the castle used to be, and it is the perfect place to enjoy the beautiful view of Greccio and of the surrounding mountains. You can reach the church by climbing a double staircase.
As it often happens with older buildings, the church was ‘updated’ several times throughout the centuries - in particular, like many of the churches in Rieti’s province it was subjected to Baroque alterations during the 18th century - and renovated after some of the earthquakes that have always shaken this area of the Central Apennines.
The single-nave church includes two chapels decorated with notable paintings: the chapel on the right is dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, another saint worshipped all over Rieti’s province, whereas the chapel on the left, dating back to 1639, is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Other notable works in this church, which appears rather simple in line with the Franciscan style, are the impressive 19th-century painting of the Archangel Michael above the high altar, the frescoes depicting the Last Supper and the Pentecost to its sides, the beautiful pipe organ by Alderano Spada and the stoups at the entrance made of red-pink marble from Cottanello.