Built on Saint Blaise hill, the Church of the Immaculate Conception is located in the town of Calitri.
The first Mass in this Church was celebrated on 9 April 1714 by Father D. Giovanni Barrata, four years after the start of building work, following the establishment of the Jesuit Confraternity.
Following the 1733 earthquake, the original layout was extended with restructuring works and the interior was divided into a nave and two aisles. The 1980 earthquake also caused extensive damage to the religious building and it had to be rebuilt; only a few elements remained standing and were preserved, such as the old façade, the 18th-century stone entrance portal and the side portals. The appearance of the Church before the 1980 earthquake is recalled in some of the paintings inside.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception contains a splendid Baroque altar in lime wood, the work of Mastro Baldassare Abbate from Calitri. The altarpiece here consists of three niches: in the central one there is a statue of the Immaculate Conception dating from 1734, made by a Neapolitan artist, and in the side niches there are statues of Saint Philip Neri and Saint Joseph. The gilding of the aedicula and the statue of Saint Vitus are attributed to other Neapolitan artists.
The 18th-century walnut pew, on which the officiant and his assistants sit during celebrations, together with valuable paintings by local and non-local artists, embellish the ornamental furnishings of the Church. These include: "The Immaculate Conception", "Jesus in Prayer" and "Our Lady of the Rosary", by the local artist Giuseppe Cerreta and the most recent paintings by another local artist, Luigi Rainone, depicting a "Pieta" and the Madonna wandering among the ruins of the 1980 earthquake.
The Crypt also houses a permanent exhibition of sacred objects, a valuable collection of sacred art from the ancient community of Calitri, which contributes to making the Church of the Immaculate Conception one of the places of worship that continues to fascinate the faithful of the village of Calitri and all those who visit it after three centuries.
Chiesa dell'Immacolata Concezione
Largo Concezione, 8, 83045 Calitri AV, Italia