Treviso: Church of San Francesco

Statue of Saint Francis, San Francesco, Treviso
By what seems like a strange coincidence, two children of two of Italy's greatest poets, Dante Alighieri and Francesco Petrarch, happen to be buried in the same church in Treviso. Pietro, Dante's eldest son, died in 1364, while Francesca, Petrarch's only daughter, died (during childbirth) in 1384.  

The church in question is San Francesco, a large brick structure, which was built for the Franciscan Order between 1230 and 1270. The interior comprises a nave, transept and five apsidal chapels. The magnificent wooden ceiling takes the form of a ship's keel. In 1806, the church was desecrated by Napoleon's army, who looted many of its works of art. It was later restored and finally returned to the Franciscans in 1928. 

If I didn't know that Treviso's patron saint was Saint Liberale, I might have assumed it was Saint Christopher, as images of the patron saint of travellers (and bachelors) abound in its churches. There are no fewer than four in San Francesco alone. My favourite is by Tomaso da Modena, who gives a very playful representation of the saint.
Fresco of Saint Christopher by Tomaso da Modena, San Francesco, Treviso.

Opening hours: 07.00-11.30/16.00-18.30

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