The Church of San Michele Arcangelo
In the heart of the historic centre you will find the XI century church of San Michele Arcangelo or St Michael the Archangel. The church is the oldest religious building in Itri. It was erected on the remains of an ancient pagan temple dedicated to Asclepius. The church of San Michele was built in an Arabic-Norman style.
The Bell Tower
It has a central square belltower, On the first and second section of the tower there are stone Romanesque mullioned windows, each supported by a single column. Above the bellfry is built of alternate layers of stone and terracotta tiles and another mullioned window with two marble columns. This is further embellished by coloured majolica disks in a Byzantine style. A steep flight of steps lead up the the church’s main entrance.
The Interior of the Church
The interior is divided into three naves. Near to the entrance there is a choir which is supported by columns which have at their base a pair of marble crouching lions which are thought to date from the XI or XII century. The ceiling is of wood supported with trusses.
On the right-hand side of the church there is a niche in the wall which is decorated with XV century frescoes. The upper part depicts the crucifixion with San Giovanni and Santa Maria. The lower section has the Madonna and Child. Painted within the arch of the niche are the heads of the 12 apostles. This work is thought to be that of Roberto Oderisio of Naples.
The main altar is ornately inlaid with different shades of coloured marble. Above the altar is displayed the XIX century wooden statue of St. Michael the Archangel slaying the dragon. On either side of the altar there are two XV century frescoes that were recovered from the ruins of the nearby church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The one on the left shows the “Assumption of the Virgin“, the one on the right is of San Biagio.