|Classification:||Karst cave. Cave Church|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|700||church founded bythe Langobards.|
|1446||united with Santa Maria Assunata at Faicchio.|
|1596||church not in use any more.|
The cave church Grotta di San Michele was founded by the Langobards inside a natural cave on the slopes of the mountain Monaco di Gioia in a height of 500m asl. The church was officially baptized in 1172 and in the same century it was decorated with frescoes. In 1446 it was united with Santa Maria Assunata at Faicchio. When it was closed is unknown, but in 1596 Monsignore Savino noted that the church was not in use any more.
The enrance to the cave is a 6m high semicircular portal. It is followed by two small chambers and then a bigger chamber, 10m long and up to 6m wide, which is the location of the church. Here starts a tunnel which leads to a chapel. The natural cave walls were almost comletely plastered and decorated with frescoes during the 12th century. They depict Christian Saints, the Archangel St. Michael, and Mary. The frescoes must have been created by a single artist, who was influenced by the art of the Byzantine Empire.