This church serves as the nucleus around which the village of Carotto developed over time, and it’s a treasure trove of art and artistic treasures.
Originally erected around the 9th century (historical records suggest its existence prior to the episcopate of Bishop Leopardo, 913-917), this church was built on the site of a former pagan temple.
The interior of the church features a Latin cross plan with three naves. Notably, the ceiling is a masterpiece, adorned with exquisite coffered beams embellished with intricate golden patterns. Suspended from the ceiling are seven paintings, credited to Girolamo Imparato by some scholars, while others attribute them to the renowned artists Francesco Solimena and Paolo De Matteis. These paintings portray episodes from the life of Saint Michael.
The ceiling culminates in a magnificent simulated dome, crafted in 1729 by the artist Francesco Saraceni. It showcases an image of Saint Michael and demonstrates an impressive mastery of perspective and faux columns. This dome graces the crossing area, which is further adorned with green and gold majolica tiles on the floor. The entire interior of the church is lavishly adorned with stucco work, decorative motifs, marble sculptures, and an array of artistic treasures. The central nave enjoys abundant natural light from tall, expansive windows. The 18th-century riggiole floor was replaced with octagonal marble designs in 1886.
On the exterior, three precious bronze doors grace the central and side entrances. These doors form a valuable trilogy of bronze bas-reliefs by master Alessandro Romano, depicting Archangels, the Trinity, and a myriad of religious characters and figures, establishing them as a significant and captivating work of art.