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The church of San Donato, whose origins are unknown, rises two kilometers far from the town of Castelli, renowned for its ancient and precious tradition of ceramic art. The country-church, with a little porch on the front, probably meant to give hospitality to shepherds, was assigned to a Benedictine friar of the Orsini family, who had been lords of those lands for a long time. At the beginning of the XVI century he superintended the enlargement and the decoration of the church. He applied to the family Pompei, a dynasty of ceramic painters from Castelli and they handcrafted the majolica ceili
The church rises on the main square of the town and was built at the end of the sixteenth century (the portal is dated 1601), reusing parts (the entrance staircase, two columns and a stone pulpit) of the ancient Benedictine San Salvatore's Abbey, situated in the surroundings of Castelli. On the façade it is possible to see a stone tile representing a griffin, the only extant part of the pulpit, which was originally located before the façade and then removed and took to pieces and set inside the church. It is carved with images of the evangelists and their symbols. On the two sides of the churc
he church is dedicated to Saint Rock, whose statue stands out on the niche surmounting the portal. A miraculous event nonetheless connected it in people's devotion to the Virgin of Tears: according to a tradition the Madonna portrayed in the precious fifteenth-century fresco by Andrea Delitio, which used to decorate the church (at present under restoration), cried and Her tears were collected and sent to the Pope, who recognized the miracle and honored the church with precious gifts in remembrance of the prodigious event. In the last century the interior of the chapel was embellished with two