The walls of the refectory of the monastery are partly decorated with frescoes that were painted at the end of the 17th century. They have not been restored and are still in their original state. Three of them evoke the vows: the sieve separating the wheat from the chaff represents chastity, the tools symbolizing work indicate poverty and the dog reflects obedience. The sentence “Surgo ni, non cadam”, meaning “I will not rise so as not to fall”, illustrates a fourth virtue, that of humility. There is also a large fresco celebrating the unity of man and creation, in the Franciscan spirit.
In the cloister of Saorge Monastery, you can observe about twenty of the exceptional painted decorations, dating from the 18th century. These frescoes illustrate the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. They tell the most famous episodes of his life, such as his meeting with the leper or the Wolf of Gubbio, the welcome of St. Clare or his birth in the straw. These paintings also depict sundials and trompe l’oeil.
In the church, the furniture and splendid carved woodwork have been preserved. The interior is devoid of marble, gilding or volutes typical of Baroque architecture. However, the Recollects painted trompe l’oeil representing windows and some fake marble to create a Baroque theatricality. The mixture between baroque and sobriety, typical of the Franciscan order, reigns in harmony in this building.
The monument is housed in a green setting. In the terrace gardens overlooking the mountains, there are ponds, wash houses, the orchard and vegetable garden as well as a pergola covered with vines. This layout bears witness to the self-sufficient life that the Recollects tried to lead.