San Felice Terme and the Franciscan theme park

In the picturesque tranquility of the municipal area between Mount Subasio and Cannara, places where there is a strong combination of nature and Franciscanism, is located the town of San Felice Terme.

In the spring always water coming from Assisi Mountain “humili et caste” as stated in the Canticle of the Creatures, which come together in Cannara in the Topino river where it happened the sermon to the birds of St. Francis, the birthplace of the Third Franciscan Order and where he was, before being stolen by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797, the original statue of the “Black Madonna” known as the “Madonna of Loreto” that many scholars say represents the elemental force of nature. Then the statue was returned with the Treaty of Tolentino, but to compensate for the lack, the cult of the Virgin of Loreto was entrusted to the simulacrum, identical to the original, made of poplar wood that is still preserved in Cannara (PG).A consolidare questo legame, nella zona furono fatti nascere, da dei rami provenienti dal cipresso presente nel Convento della Santa Croce dei frati minori di Verucchio in provincia di Rimini e piantato dal Santo di Assisi nel XIII secolo d.C., alcuni esemplari chiamati appunto “cipressi di San Francesco” che qui si svilupparono con incredibile vigore.

In the seventeenth century, the historian Fausto Dear Weasel narrated the beneficial properties of the springs in the area, saying: “l’acqua perfetta e per uso dei bagni et hoggi ancora serve detta acqua per chi patisce di male di fegato e di difficoltà ad urinare”.

This explains why people went for centuries in many parts of the area where the precious waters flowed out spontaneously, to benefit from the therapeutic effects of this resource that nature generously gave them.

Tutto questo comunque rappresentava la continuazione di una tradizione termale che affondava le sue radici già in epoca romana quando nelle zone circostanti sorgevano delle strutture termali di cui oggi restano importanti testimonianze archeologiche a Cannara, Assisi, Bevagna e Spello.

All this still represented a continuation of a spa tradition that had its roots in Roman times when the surrounding areas stood the spa facilities at present remain important archaeological remains in Cannara, Assisi, Bevagna and Spello.

Precisely for all these coincidences it was given the name “Terme Francescane” to the Spa and was born around it a Franciscan theme park with squares and monuments that remind of Saint Francis’ life.