The Church of the Running Madonna
The Church of San Filippo Neri holds a special place in the hearts of the people of Sulmona. It is there that the Virgin, dressed in mourning, receives the news of her son’s resurrection during the rite of the Madonna che scappa (the Running Madonna), Abruzzo’s most famous and folkloristic Easter tradition.
The church dates back to the 17th century, although the last stone was not officially laid until the late 1600s. A 1706 earthquake forced the city of Sulmona to rebuild the building, which today boasts one of the most distinctive façades in Italy.
The façade, which belonged to the pre-existing church dedicated to Saint Augustine, appears almost unfinished due to its square shape and minimal decoration. The door, one of the finest examples of Gothic art in Abruzzo, is particularly impressive.