All of the pictures in this section were taken prior to the earthquake in 2002. Now the church has a vivid coral colour on the facade. The little house to the left is sunflower yellow in colour and the tower, on the extreme left, was strengthened with structural "chains" to withstand any future seismic event.
The Cathedral of San Pardo is grander, but for many families in Larino one of the favourite churches is the Chiesa di San Francesco. Outside it is deceptively plain and the church bells no longer sound.
The fresco on the ceiling has suffered water damage and much of the gilt is dimmed by the passage of centuries, but it is a jewel box nevertheless.
In June the effigy of San Antonio is placed in front the of the altar and the church is filled will lilies. Recently the perfume of the flowers was so strong that elderly worshippers felt faint. The church is in the baroque style. The great organ with its pipes still functions.
In one of the niches is the image of a respendent Michael, the Archangel, conquering a satanic figure.
The greatest treasure in the church is a figure of the crucified Christ. It was carved in the mid fifteenth century The naturalistic style is incredible when the age of the carving is considered.
Right in the centre of the altar there are three marble representation of three angels.
Before the earthquake the outside sounds of the bi-monthly Thursday market barely penetrated the interior. Now the stalls have returned to the old town, to the great joy of the local residents. It's another indication of the rebirth of Larino.
And beyond the cluster of red tiled buildings that define this little community stretch vast expanses of countryside. To walk into that countryside is to walk into a place where time is irrelevant. The air is pristine. Vineyards and orchards stand without walls. Only rarely does a car pass. Some of the fields are filled with sun flowers. The rolling hills stretch out to the distant horizon and there is a sense of peace.
As of 2008 the Church of San Francesco has not reopened. Workers, daily, still labour away to restore the building to it former beauty. In this image you can see the Palazzo Ducale (on the right). It partly hides the new coral coloured front of the Church. What's more, the convent to which the Church is attached is being completely renovated.
Place the stories about Larino in perspective by reviewing THE CHRONOLOGY