THE HISTORICAL HOUSE
The former convent of Sant’Angelo in Panzo
The name Panzo originates from the Latin name Pantius and the name of the Monastery, S. Angelo in Panzo, comes from a church dedicated to the cult of S. Michele Arcangelo, built on land belonging to an owner with that name. The existing monastery, located approximately 2 km outside of Assisi, on the slopes of mount Subasio, was built around the X century, on the ruins of a Roman settlement. Some Latin inscriptions, relating to the “gens Propertia” (Propertius was from Assisi) were found in the foundations of the primitive church. At the beginning of the XIII century Sant’Angelo in Panzo was a monastery when, in March 1212, Saint Francis, Friar Filippo and Friar Bernardo, accompanied there Saint Clare who had just fled from home. Saint Clare was then joined by her sister, Saint Agnes, and the family, irritated, sent their uncle Monaldo with others to bring her home, even by force. The legend tells of the first miracle of Saint Clare that the body of Saint Agnes became so heavy that it could not be lifted, while the arm of uncle Monaldo raised to beat her, remained paralyzed. Saint Clare later moved to San Damiano and Panzo became an important Clarian Sisters monastery until approximately one century later, when, for security reasons, they moved inside the city walls of Assisi, as did many other settlements around the city at that time. Sant’Angelo in Panzo thus became an abandoned hermitage until the beginning of the XVII century when it was bought by the Bonacquisti family, an important family from Assisi, who restored it to transform it into their palace, thereby also rebuilding the old church of the convent. The Bonacquisti family became extinct at the end of the XIX century and for some time the building was used as a farmhouse until 1950 when the current owners restored it. Sant’Angelo in Panzo is also known for its water wells that have supplied water to Assisi since Roman times, through tunnels carved into the rock and partially still visible today, that arrived into the city. Now a bound family-owned villa, Sant’Angelo in Panzo is considered among the most interesting historical dwellings in Umbria. And certainly the only one in Assisi, city worldwide known and visited yearly by millions of tourists as well as by secular and religious elites. Even though not open to the public, there is no denying entry to the many who wish to visit the church and the walls of Saint Clare. Every room is prestigiously furnished and the library has over 6000 books. The olive trees around the house are known for the excellent quality of their bio “dop” olive oil.