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San Pio da Pietrelcina

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San Pio da Pietrelcina is a modern parish church at Via Giorgio De Lullo 97 which is in Malafede, a new suburb east of Casal Bernocchi in the Acilia Sud district, south of the Via del Mare.

The patron is still perhaps more familar in English-speaking countries as Padre Pio, which is Italian for "Father Pius". His proper name in English is "St Pius of Pietrelcina", as Franciscan friars replace their surnames with the name of the place where they were born or brought up. However, in English he is often referred to as "St Pio" or even, horrifyingly, as "St Padre Pio" which is simply ignorant.

The church was designed by the partnership Studio di Architettura Anselmi ed Associati, and was completed in 2010. It is Rome’s second-newest church (San Corbiniano is newer).

The plan is on a square, but the spectacular elevation of the frontage is formed from three parabolic arches of different sizes in one broad white concrete strip forming the roofline, with the centre of the strip recessed. Two arches form the left hand side of the façade, the middle one having a vertical axis and being the highest, and the left hand one having its axis tilted to the left and being half the height. The right hand side of the façade is a low sweeping arch with its axis tilted to the right. The infill is white walling either side of the entrance under the low arch, and horizontal tessellated rectangular windows interspersed with white panels within the curves of the arches. The curve of the roof gathers up the three arches at the front, and merges them into one low arch at the sanctuary end.

The façade here has a white panel completely surrounded by tessellated rectangular windows in clear glass, and on this panel behind the altar hangs a crucifix with a vertical slit stained glass window to the right. There is a campanile at the back of the church on the right hand side, a white concrete tower on a square plan, one half of the square having four solid walls and the other half having just one side leaving a large gap. Diagonal struts connect the detached wall to the rest, and the bells hang exposed at the top of this space.

This church is well worth a detour to visit.

External linksEdit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page

Parish website

Illustrated architectural article

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