The small but pretty Church of Sant’Ansano stands a short distance from the Arch of Drusus and the archaeological area of the town. The building as we see it today is the result of a restoration by the Milanese Antonio Dotti in the 1700s. The church has a lovely facade decorated with four large half-columns, two on each side. Entrance to the church is through a small central door surmounted by a simple rectangular window that illuminates the building. Inside, the church has a single nave and preserves valuable works of art including a beautiful fresco of the Madonna and Child and two saints painted by Giovanni di Pietro, better known as “Lo Spagna,” and a painting depicting the martyrdom of St Ansano by the seventeenth-century artist Archita Riccida Urbino.
A narrow staircase leads down to the Crypt of St. Isaac, a Syrian monk who arrived in Spoleto in the sixth century, a pioneer of hermit life on Monte Luco. The crypt is divided into three small naves separated from each other by small recycled columns with early medieval capitals dating back to the VIII-IX century, and barrel-vaulted ceilings. Numerous 11th-12th century frescos are preserved here.
Archaeological excavations have ascertained that the church must have been built in the early Christian age on a pre-existing Roman temple. Later, as the centuries passed and the road surface rose, it was necessary to build the new church above the previous one that became the crypt.