The Saint Francis art collection is housed in a part of the former convent of the Conventual Friars Minor. The complex, which was built in the 13th century, is the result of numerous interventions. During the first half of the seventeenth century it was completely rebuilt. The complex includes: the Museum of the Town and the Territory, the Picture Gallery, the Antiquarium, the Church of Saint Francis, the Museum of the Olive Civilization.
MUSEUM OF THE TOWN AND THE TERRITORY
The rooms preserves objects that document Trevi’s history from the Roman age to the nineteenth century. The archaeological section exhibits findings (memorial stones, inscriptions, earthenware) originating above all from Pietrarossa, where the ancient Roman Trebiae was located. Recent archaeological excavations revealed, always in Pietrarossa, a Longobard necropolis. Among the objects found, the grave of an elderly woman, containing bones and grave goods, which dates back to the 7th century AD.
THE PICTURE GALLERY
The picture gallery is spread over three floors and exhibits paintings of exceptional historic and artistic interest of the Renaissance and Medieval Ages: the triptych and the four panels depicting the Stories from the Life of Christ painted by Giovanni di Corraduccio, the Coronation of the Virgin by Giovanni di Pietro, known as Lo Spagna, a Virgin and child of Pinturicchio’s early period and the monumental altarpiece with the Assumption of the Virgin and Saints by Alessandro Turchi known as Orbetto.
THE CHURCH OF SAINT FRANCIS
The Church of San Francis stands on an even older sacred building dating back to 1268 and dedicated to Our Lady. During the period of the medieval city republics, when the assembly of the people or “arenga”, as it was called, couldn’t take place outside because of the bad weather, it was convened inside the church with the purpose “to resolve matters of great importance ant it was attended by 600 or 700 people at a time.
The architecture is very simple, as was in the style of the mendicant orders: a single nave with trussed wooden ceiling, and a pentagonal central apse flanked by two rectangular based chapels.
The apse’s walls contain frescoes of the first half of the 14th century depicting Stories from the life of Our Lady. At the centre of the apse, there is an iconostasis Crucifix which dates back to the beginning of the fourteenth century. The walls still contain large traces of frescos and altars which were added later, following the Catholic reformation. Of great interest are: the painting of Virgin and Child and the Souls of Purgatory by Ascensidonio Spacca, known as “il Fantino”, (the jockey) and the monumental organ considered “an extremely rare surviving example of its kind and which in the Renaissance was defined as a wall organ”. It was built by Paolo Pietro di Paolo of Montefalco.
MUSEUM OF THE OLIVE CIVILIZATION
In Trevi there had to be a Museum dedicated to the microcosm linked to the olive cultivation and oil production in the local and Mediterranean environment. Olive oil is not just an excellent product of the Trevi area, as the olive cultivation is something which is deep rooted in the Umbrian territory and has become a part of the history and tradition of its people. The guided tour starts through the words of a local farmer who, even with the use of local dialectical expressions, accompanies the visitor through the olive cultivation cycle, the production and preservation of olive oil, giving information about the various processing and extraction techniques, as well as illustrating the rituals, the superstitions and the typical local religious beliefs.
The path is divided in four didactic sections: botany; the knowledge of the olive oil and the olive tree; the olive tree as a symbol of peace; the history of the olive tree. With the aid of videos and multimedia tools, the visitor is informed about the modern milling and cultivation techniques. In the same section, one has the opportunity to taste an learn to distinguish different types of olive oil, as well as to print out oil and olive based recipes created by the famous chef Angelo Paracucchi.