Forza d'Agrò paese medievale a due passi da Taormina e l'Etna. Ricco d'arte, storia e cultura, panorami mozzafiato. Famoso per aver accolto i cast di moltissimi film tra i quali Il Padrino parte I, Parte II e Parte III che hanno conseguito 27 nominations e 9 Oscar

 Forza d'Agrò paese medievale a due passi da Taormina e l'Etna. Ricco di arte, storia e cultura, panorami mozzafiato. Famoso per aver accolto i cast di molti film.

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The Church of Saint Francis (or of Saint Catherine)

The church is found right at the entrance to the village, on the left as you approach, next to a spacious square that is the modern “Piazza Giovanni XXIII”. The Municipal Council is also located in the square.

The church is also called of “Saint Francis” because at one time it belonged to the Franciscan brothers who had built their monastery next to the church, it has since been converted into residential homes.

In keeping with the rules of the religious movement founded by following the example and teachings of St. Francis, the masonry structure of the church is quite simple. The facade of the church faces north-east and is adorned only by the sandstone entry door, with a lintel, which is simple and linear in form. The facade also contains a small bell tower. The elements of the portal are finely moulded as seen in the small corbels, incised with floral and curvilinear motifs, that support the lintel and in the lateral posts composed of stone blocks laid on top of each other.

L'entrata della Chiesa di S. Francesco prima del restauro

The facade is strengthen on each side by sandstone pilasters and above the portal there is a large window with a lintel. On this is a small niche which enshrines a statue of St. Francis. In the wall adjacent to the piazza of Giovanni XXIII are two doors, one of these is noteworthy for mouldings in the upper portion.

The interior has one nave is distinguished for its altars, with their respective niches, decorated in polychrome marble. A large arched bas-relief that surrounds one of the altars on the left of the entrance also stands out for its small winged “double” heads. The delicate hand of a humble artist is visible in the designs of the arch of triumph and of the modest shrines that show the naturalistic and rustic aspect of the rules of the monastery.


- The Shrine of St. Catherine

In the Church of St. Francis at the end of the 17th century a niche was made intended to house the statue of St. Catherine, now located in the Cathedral of Forza d’Agrò. The entire marble assembly, consisting of the 1.68 metre high statue and the hexagonal support plinth, was placed in a shrine with this inscription:



The restoration of the church in 1991 clarified the inscription at the base of the niche, surrounded by polychrome marble of exceptional workmanship. Unfortunately, the graceful “curtain” painted on the internal part of the same shrine is no longer visible.



- The tombstone of the gentleman Giuseppe Antonio Miano

A marble tombstone, with mouldings of curvilinear motifs around the borders, is found on the left wall (as you enter), next to an altar. It quotes a notice to the memory of the gentleman Giuseppe Antonio Miano born in S. Lucia del Mela of a noble family, commended in royal offices, married in Forza d'Agrò and prematurely deceased in 1757 at the age of 36 with much mourning in Catania, Messina and Palermo.

In August of 1991, the restoration of the interior of the church was completed, carried out thanks to the intervention of the Superintendent of Cultural and Environmental Heritage. This restoration virtually returned the small building to its former beauty. Certainly, the polychrome altars and various frescoes that even in their simplicity beautified the church no longer exist. However, the large arch situated on the wall to the right of the entrance was returned to its original colour (sandstone grey) as over the years it had whitened. Above all, complete degradation was prevented.

Translation by  Connie Badolato

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