The Church of St. Michael Archangel, dedicated to the patron saint of the walls of the medieval town, is situated in front of the ancient castle. It was probably built on the remains of an old Roman temple, or on the perimeter of the castle itself, between 13th and 14th centuries.
The church was built in typically Gothic-Romanesque style, with a simple façade, softened by two mullioned arches set to the side, with an elegant rose window above. On the left is the bell tower with a clock dating from 1891.
You enter the Church climbing a small staircase with a double ramp, covered in local stone.
Once inside, the visitor is struck by the Gothic-Romanesque style, first and foremost attested by the three small naves with groin vaulting, one placed centrally and the other two set to the side.
The main altar is situated at the back of the central nave, with the distance from the door symbolising the path that takes man towards god. Behind the altar is a canvas showing St. Michael Archangel in the act of crushing Evil, represented by a wicked man.
Niches in the walls of the right hand nave contain statues of various saints, especially the half bust of Saint Dominic of Guzman, the town’s protector. This nave also contains a statue of Our Lady of Sorrows wearing a black robe trimmed with gold; lying at her feet is Jesus, after being taken down from the cross. These two sacred statues were donated by the Giordani Lorenzo family at the end of the 1800s. This nave is also where the font can be found, made out of local stone.
The nave on the left hand side also has niches with more statues of saints: Saint Rita and Saint Emidio. The Sacred Heart is situated on the altar, while inset into the walls forming the doorway into the sacristy are two plaques engraved with the names of men who worked hard for the town.
In 1591, the chaplaincy of St. Anthony of Padua was set up inside the Church, and operated until 1813. Around this time there is also evidence that a teaching faculty was established for the use of the heirs of the prince of Gorga, Don Giovanni Battista Pamphilj. He put a priest in charge of the teaching, dubbed the “maestro di scuola” (the schoolmaster) ,whose job it was to provide material and spiritual guidance and education for the youngsters.
At the end of the 16th century, the Church of St. Michael Archangel gained the status of a dean, thus fulfilling a guiding role for the religious community. This role is still carried out today, and the majority of religious functions are held here.