The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (Ex Santissima Annunziata)
In the main square of Piazza Annunziata in lower Itri is the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Itri’s principal church. This church was formerly dedicated to La Vergine Annunziata or the Annunziation. The structure was severely damaged during the bombings by the Allied Forces in 1944, however the 13th century bell tower did survive. Some frescoes were also rescued and can now be found in the Church of San Michele Arcangelo in the upper section of Itri. The church was subsequently reconstructed after the war.
Photos of the Exterior and Interior of the Church
The entrance has a large portico with three gothic arches. Inside there is a central nave with two side aisles. The interior is airy and bathed in natural light. The main altar is dedicated to the Annunziation. There are also several side altars and niches dedicated to the saints, including Santa Rita, Santa Lucia, San Rocco, Sant’Antonio, San Costanzo and the Madonna Addolerata.
Within the right aisle is the chapel of the Crucifix, which has a multi-coloured marble altar. The left aisle has the interior of the church’s dome. Here also is a special chapel which houses the treasured silver statue of the town’s patron, the Madonna della Cività.
Near to this church once stood the Convent of San Francesco, which was founded in 1327.
The old Benedictine Monastery of San Martino, in the district of Pagnano, was also destroyed during the Second World War.