Grotta di San Michele

Useful Information

Location: Faicchio.
Follow Via Vicinale dei Monaco to the Convento San Pasquale, 800 m to the east follow road north up the valley 500 m. From the end of the road 500 m walk.
(41.291907, 14.488928)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave. SubterraneaCave Church SubterraneaSt. Michael Caves
Light: bring torch
Dimension: A=500 m asl
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Tel: +39-0
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 by the Langobards.
1172 chruch baptized.
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 at a height of 500 m 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 entrance to the cave is a 6 m high semicircular portal. It is followed by two small chambers and then a bigger chamber, 10 m long and up to 6 m wide, which is the location of the church. Here starts a tunnel which leads to a chapel. The natural cave walls were almost completely 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. At this time, the church was renovated, and finally baptized in 1172.

There is no road to the cave church. The only way to reach it is by foot on a steep trail uphill. There are actually two trails, one starts at the Convento di San Pasquale and the other at Fontanavecchia. Both are about 2.5 km long and have an elevation gain of some 400 m. The visit to the cave with the walk requires some physical fitness, walking shoes, appropriate clothes, sun protection, rain protection, some water and food and a good lamp. We recommend planning at least a half day tour.