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Sant'Aniano dei Ciabattini

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Sant’Aniano dei Ciabattini was a small 16th century guild church (now demolished) in the Via Luigi Petroselli. It was due north of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, and west of the Arch of Janus in the rione Ripa.

Name Edit

The dedication was to St Anianus of Orleans.

It was also known as Sant'Anigro, and an alternative to Ciabattini was Pianellari.

For some reason this church has been confused in the sources with Sant'Anna a Ripa. They were not very near to each other.


Apart from the fact that it used to be dedicated to Our Lady, under the title of Santa Maria dal Martinelli, not much seems to be known about the origins of this church. The coat-of-arms of Pope Sixtus IV that was over the entrance indicated that it was restored or rebuilt in the 15th century.

In 1612 it was given to the Compagnia degli Scarpinelli, otherwise known as dei Lavarotori e Garzioni de' Calzolari. This was the guild of the "labourers and boys of the shoemakers", in other words, those who did the menial and unskilled tasks in the process of making shoes. Later they came to include those who made slippers, hence the name Ciabattini. Slippers were footwear without heels, and the most notable examples were the rawhide moccasins that Roman women wore right up to the mid 19th century. Not having heels on their footwear meant that they could carry things on their heads more easily.

The guild changed the dedication two years later to St Anianus of Orleans (Aignan in French), who was their patron saint. He was a 5th century bishop near Paris. They also restored the church two years after obtaining it.

In 1805 the guild moved out, and the church was taken over by the Congregazione di Santa Maria del Pianto, a pious confraternity interested in helping poor girls which had been founded at the church of Santa Maria del Pianto in the 18th century. They restored it two years later, but in 1819 found a better home at San Giorgio in Velabro nearby and themselves moved out.

The little church apparently fell into disuse soon after that, but then had another restoration just before 1839.

It was demolished as part of the Fascist scheme for the Via del Mare road to Lido di Ostia, about 1936.


The church stood on the east side of the Strada delle Carrozze, due east of Santa Maria Egiziaca. The latter church is now the Temple of Portunus, and the main road that replaced the street is the Via Luigi Petroselli. Take a line due east across the road from the second column on the right on the temple's side, and you will hit what looks like an ancient pagan altar set in a small area of trees and grass on the north side of the Foro Boario. This marks the church's entrance.


This was a tiny church, having the plan of a simple rectangle with an external apse that was also rectangular. The sources mention a pair of columns decorating the façade, but these had gone by the time the church was demolished.

The façade was of one storey, and had a pair of gigantic Doric pilasters supporting an entablature and a triangular pediment. At the time of demolition, the apex of the pediment had crumbled. The doorway had a fine marble doorcase but no further decoration, and above it was a large round-headed window recessed within a molded frame.

The little church had obviously received scant attention after 1839, as the façade was badly patched and was in a poor condition at the end.

External linkEdit

Nolli map (look for 1052)

"De Alvariis" gallery on Flickr

"Romeartlover" web-page with map

Intarch web-page with photo

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