In 1578, the plague hit Pizzo and, to put an end to the epidemic, the local people prayed to Saint Roch. The saint answered their prayers and the city was saved.
The following year, to please the saint, the locals decided to build a church in his honor. The adjacent convent was built at the same time for the monks belonging to the Order of Minims, founded by Saint Francis of Paola.
At the end of the 18th century, the religious orders were suppressed throughout Italy by Napoleon Bonaparte, including the Order of Minims who resided in the convent.
In 1905, another earthquake seriously damaged the church, and the reconstruction works were completed only in 1930. In 2013, the church was dedicated to Saint Francis of Paola.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The facade of the church, painted in pale yellow, is 18 meters high, and is adjacent to a bell tower 23 meters high. The facade is decorated by a polychrome rosette, a tympanum and two niches in which are placed two marble statues depicting San Rocco and San Francesco di Paola.
The octogonal dome is surmounted by a lantern with 12 windows, having a total height of 26 meters.
The interior of the church has two aisles. The central nave is 29 meters long and 8 meters wide. The apse that enclose the altar of San Rocco is surrounded by stained glass windows decorated with scenes that reproduce the Miracles of Saint Francis of Paola.
Inside the church, we can admire the precious marble baptismal font, the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the work depicting the Madonna of Pompeii and the high altar with the Madonna of the Miracle. The Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament is also very beautiful.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of San Francesco di Paola is located about 1.9 kilometers away from the Pizzo train station. To find it on foot, use the map below.