San Francesco d’Assisi

San Francesco d’Assisi

Nearby: The Oratory of San Lorenzo

Tucked into a small plaza just south of the Corso Vittoro Emanuele is the church of San Francesco d’Assisi. Originally built in 1260, the church has undergone many transformations in its 750 years, and still plays an important role in Palermo’s religious life.

San Francesco d'Assisi

With its unusual zig-zag pattern, the gorgeous portal is the church’s most striking exterior feature, with the complex rose window coming in a close second. The facade was rebuilt according to the original Gothic designs, after the church was damaged by the 1943 Allied bombing which devastated Palermo. The interior of the church, which blends Romanesque, Gothic and Neoclassical design, is less showy than many others around Palermo, but no less beautiful, with a wooden ceiling, works of art and detailed stucco carvings.

The San Francesco is home to Palermo’s idol of the Immaculate Conception, and plays an important role during the Immaccolata on December 8th, when it becomes the center of celebrations and starting point for the somber procession carrying the idol to the Cathedral.

Location on our Palermo Map
Learn Italian

Rosen Window
Old Painting
Wedding Palermo
Wooden Ceiling
Middle Ages Sicily
Assisi Palermo
Floating Jesus
Travel Photography
Italy Travel Guide
Beauty Of Italy
Holy Palermo
Hooded Lady
Thinking About God
You Got The Look
Ho Sete


  • RobertaK

    As always, a great piece and lots of terrific pics. One tiny thing: isn’t it San Francesco, rather than San Francisco?Best wishesBuona giornataRK

    October 19, 2011 at 10:18 am
    • Mike Powell

      GULP, you’re right! I just got San Francisco (like the city) in my head… thanks for the note, we’ve updated the post!

      October 19, 2011 at 10:58 am
  • brian

     What a lovely Church

    October 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm
  • Manfredi

    Hi! I’m from Palermo, my parents get married in San Francesco D’Assisi!

    January 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm
    • Juergen

      Manfredi, thank you for stopping by. San Francesco D’Assisi was one of our favorite churches in Palermo!

      January 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm