The Medieval church of S. Leopardo emerged from the ruins of a building from the 1st century b.c. It was mentioned for the first time in the Cronaca Volturense (an illuminated manuscript) from the 9th century on the occasion of a donation made by the Emperor Ludovico I to the San Vincenzo al Volturno monks, belonging to the churches of S. Domiziano of Pettorano, S. Leopardo of Pacentro, S. Vincenzo of Sulmona, S. Vincenzo of Bugnara, and S. Liberatore of Pescara. De Stephanis, in the 19th century, in making a list of the small farmsteads of Pacentro, outlines the S. Leopardo church as a little religious monastery.
Description The Church of S. Leopardo, constructed out of the remains of a 1st century b.c building, (that may have been a small country house) and a cave, is situated on a small area of the plain that dominates the Peligna Valley, near the River Vella.
The perimeter walls of the first building, used in the Medieval age as a place of cult worship, are 9 metres tall and are divided into 4 big steps made with rough, irregular stones.
The main room is completely open and still shows traces of painted plaster. In contrast the rear area, which is partially covered, shows two connecting rooms with a rounded ceiling. The entry to the two connecting rooms is connected to the internal stairs and to an entrance situated along the side wall.
The cave is irregular both in its floor plan and in the front profile. It has a low wall at the entrance while at the back there is a small, slightly asymmetrical recess.
An archeological study highlighted the presence of stone sculpted with both phallic symbols and building instruments, such as the trowel, the square rule and the plumb line, which might suggest an overlap of trade guilds.