Located in the main square of Arpino, the church of St Michele Arcangelo was built on the site of a pagan temple devoted to Apollo and the nine Muses. This hypotheses is supported by the presence of nine empty niches in a hallow in the rock behind the altar. Frescoes from the 8th and 9th centuries, the date MC in the inscription on the main bell, the documents of the Regesti in Montecassino Abbey are evidence of the church’s important past.
The baroque interior has a Latin cross with three naves, lateral chapels and cross-vaults. The church keeps many prestigious works of art. As you enter, you see on the man altar the big painting by the Cavalier d‘Arpino, which depicts the Archangel Michael defeating Lucifer and on the apse vault the majestic figure of the Eternal Father.
To the same artist are attributed the Annunciation, Tobiah and the Angel, St Peter Martyrdom and the 14 Stations of the Cross. Artistically remarkable the Stational Cross from the Tuscan school (14th century) placed in the left nave.
In the vestry, an oil painting attributed to Francesco Curia, follower of Caravaggio, depicts Jesus’ Baptism; beautiful is the Madonna with Child by the artist Dionigi Ludovisi lived in the 17th century. Noteworthy is the church organ made in the 18th century; Michele Stolz carved the Baptistry and the pulpit in walnut wood with six relief puttos held by an eagle.
The Tyrolean carver (1725-1779) that worked for long time in Arpino is buried under the altar of Jesus Holy Heart in this church.