top of page

Convento del Sacro Speco di San Francesco

relevance for the project

It is well preserved, it is relevant for architectural and environmental issues and for touristic routes.
In 1373 it was donated to Paoluccio Trinci.


The Speco di S. Francesco is one of the most important sanctuaries of Franciscanism, located 700 meters above sea level near Narni and built near the caves where the Saint of Assisi loved to retreat in prayer. The "speco" is a crack in the rock 60 meters long, which descends almost vertically into the valley below.
The Poverello came to this place in 1213, which at the time was known as the "Hermitage of Sant'Urbano": founded by the Benedictines around the year 1000, it included the Oratory of San Silvestro and some caves. The area was popularly called "Bandita" or "Selva Bandita".
Francis later returned there with some companions, who began to build huts and cells to gather for meditation; he also spent here a period of illness, during which the friars built for him a stone cell with a wooden bed (still visible) and an oratory to allow him to gather in prayer without having to move to the church.
The convent was developed by the will of Saint Bernardino of Siena, who had a corridor built with some small rooms. Since then, many religious - even saints like Anthony of Padua - have resided within these walls.
The convent is rectangular, with small cells and a very small end; it has a discreet library.
The convent has no cloister: it has only a small vegetable garden and a cloister with a magnificent viewpoint that stretches to Terni. The church was built between 1585 and the early seventeenth century. It consists of a single room, enriched by the 16th-century wooden crucifix and a hexagonal tabernacle of the following century. A canvas above the front door - which is painted by Nicolò Alunno - illustrates the meeting of St. Francis with St. Dominic. A small choir and various cabinets of relics complete the environment.


Accrocca F. (2016). San Francesco nello Speco di Narni. In Studi Francescani, 113, pp. 5-29
Canonici L. (1991). I Francescani nell'Umbria. I - Storia della Provincia Serafica (1208-1991). Assisi: Tipolitografia Porziuncola
Di Giampaolo F. (2013). Pietre che parlano. Conventi chiusi e Conventi aperti della Provincia Serafica di San Francesco. Assisi: Provincia Serafica di San Francesco dei Frati minori dell’Umbria
Mancini G., Occhialini U. (-). Lo Speco di San Francesco - Guida al santuario. Assisi: Edizioni Porziuncola
Sensi M. (2018). Lo speco di Narni tra eremiti, osservanti e riformati. In Frate Francesco, 84, pp. 283-299


Narni (TR), Umbria, Italy

12.597593, 42.456587


other media

bottom of page