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Church of the ‘Zoccolanti’

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Chiostro della Chiesa degli Zoccolanti
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The inhabitants of Montorio called their church ‘Zoccolanti’ after the noise produced by the Observant Minor Friars who wore wooden clogs during processions. At first, the church was dedicated to St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception.

Located in the historical heart of Montorio, the church’s design dates back to 1755 when Carlo of Borbone wanted its expansion and restoration, almost starting from the foundations. He also adorned it by adding an entablature, columns, stuccos and chapels.

The façade is plain and simple. The interior presents just one nave and embellished with a painted wood pipe organ and five stony altars, with decorations and stuccos in Rococo style.

Of some interest are the two frescos of the main altar, one representing the Pope giving the official bull, which acknowledges Saint Francis’ Order; the other depicting the ecstasy of the Saint.

Finally, there is the suggestive cloister once frescoed with images of the Saints and noble family crests painted by the monks.

In 1998, the local authorities started the restoration works to convert the cloister into an art museum of popular culture and tradition of Vomano Valley.