LÀquila and surrounding towns and villages have been devastated by the recent earthquake. LÀquila is the capital of the Abruzzo province.
Near LÀquila is the old medieval town of Fossa.
At the northern end of the village of Fossa there is the 13th century Church of Santa Maria delle Grotte (or ad Cryptas), with an austere exterior, and which has two fresco cycles amongst the oldest and best preserved of the Abruzzo Middle Ages.
The church, of Cistercian origin, owes its name to the presence of a little crypt in which there is a simple altar.
In its interior, there are extraordinary frescoes realised in two phases: the first cycle in the late 13th century (Cycle of the Months, the Last Judgement, the Last Supper, The Arrest, the Flagellation, the Crucifixion, the Burial) and the second in the 14th century (San Gioacchino amongst shepherds, Meeting at the Porta Aurea, Annunciation, Nativity and Domitio ). New frescoes were added between the 15th and 16th centuries.
Unfortunately it is reported that the Church has suffered damage as a result of the quake.
The area around Mount Ocre (2204 metres), is renowned for its numerous medieval religious structures and other buildings erected during the Middle Ages.
See the website of Santa Maria ad Cryptas