The building, roughly square and measuring 18.5m x 17.5m, has three levels. The ground floor with the church, the upper floor used as the living area and the lower floor basement characterised by the presence of rooms carved into the rock with vaulted ceilings which were typical of rock hermitages. This was the original nucleus of the hermitage, which together with other masonry areas, built land added on later, made up the entire building.
The church has an interrupted elliptical floorplan along the longitudinal axis transversely from the entrance to the rectangular chancel, and from the two side chapels, to form a kind of a Greek cross.
The 18th century church is decorated with a row of paired pilasters with a high entablature. Little remains of the decorative stucco save for two stucco angels at the sides of the main altar. Other altars were dedicated to Santa Monica and San Martino.
The entire room is covered by an elliptical dome which is concealed on the outside by a slender lantern with ellipsoidal windows.
The ground floor is connected to the floor above via a staircase that also leads to the organ loft. Here were the living areas and dormitories, which in the past were occupied by the monks.
Historical NotesThe building is located at 346 meters above sea level on the steep slope of Mount Morrone on a small grassy plateau. It would seem at first sight, both for its location and for the sturdy, square wall to be a fort or a fortified house with a look-out tower, rather than a place of spiritual retreat.
It was mentioned for the first time in a document from 1323. It was later quoted in a Papal Bull of 1522 and then later in various other 19th-century sources, according to which in 1819 it was visited by Bishop Tiberi.
San Terenziano was bishop of Todi in the 2nd century AD and was beheaded during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. Although little of him is known in Abruzzo, he was in the past revered by the Corfiniesi, who celebrated him on 1st September, when they made a short pilgrimage to the hermitage, set up a small market there for bread, wine, oil and fruit and then celebrated mass. The place of worship was abandoned after the last war, as we can see by the many writings by the pilgrims