The Churches of Lower Itri
In addition to the Church of San Michele Arcangelo and the ruined Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in upper Itri, there are several more churches to be found in the lower section of the town.
The Church and Convent of Santa Maria di Loreto
As you look across from the historic old town you can see the Church of Santa Maria di Loreto and the convent of the Cappuccini Monks. The original convent was founded by the Capuchin Fathers in 1574 on a hill just outside of the town of Itri. It was dedicated to Santa Maria di Loreto and was inhabited by the Capuchini’s until 1897. Between 1910 and 1911 there was a cholera epidemic in Itri and the building was used as a hospital during this period.
The building was in great need of restoration and in 1941 reconstruction work commenced. This was finally completed after the war. In 1943 the convent was gifted by the town of Itri to the community of the Passionist Fathers who still reside there today.
The painting of the Madonna of Loreto, created by 18th century Neapolitan artist Sarnelli, hangs above the church’s main altar. In a side chapel there is a painting of San Paolo della Croce attributed to the artist Sebastiano Conca (1676-1764). There is an additional side chapel dedicated to San Gabriele.
The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (Ex Santissima Annunziata)
In the main square in lower Itri is the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. This church was formerly dedicated to La Vergine Annunziata. It was severely damaged during the bombings of the Allied Forces in 1944 and was reconstructed after the war.
Near to this church once stood the Convent of San Francesco, which was founded in 1327.
The Church of the Madonna delle Grazie
Sited on the ancient Via Appia, leading out of Itri, in the direction of Fondi and Rome, is the small church of the Madonna Delle Grazie.
The Abandoned Church of San Cristofero
Looking down on Itri is the ancient abandoned church of San Cristofero which was built in 1348. It is now in ruins.
Below is a magnificent view of Itri looking down from Monte San Cristofero.
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