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Sant’Antonio da Padova alle Capannelle comprises two 20th century public chapels, one deconsecrated and the other succeeding it on a different site. The former is at Via delle Capannelle 134, and the latter on the Via Gamiana near its junction with that street. This is in the suburbanized old settlement of Capannelle, which is in the Appio Claudio quarter (not in the suburban zone of the same name).
The dedication is to St Anthony of Padua.
Old chapel Edit
The old chapel was erected as part of the rebuilding of an old farmstead here in 1900. Back then the area was entirely rural, and the congregation would have been mostly farm-workers in the little hamlet around the farm of Casale del Borgo di Capannelle.
A self-contained suburb for the city's fire-fighters was built on the other side of the train station to the east, and in response the new parish church of Santa Barbara alle Capannelle was opened in 1953. It was considered that this made the chapel redundant, and so it was deconsecrated and converted into farm stables. This caused serious offence to local people in the old settlement.
In 2004, the farmstead was thoroughly remodelled as a hotel complex, the Hotel Piccolo Borgo. The edifice of the old chapel is now part of this.
New chapel Edit
Surprisingly, the local residents managed to obtain the funds and necessary permissions to erect a new chapel on a different site, which was completed in 1989 and formally consecrated in 1991. This was a brave thing to do, since the parish of Santa Babara has another dependent public chapel close by at Santi Cirillo e Metodio a Villaggio Appio.
Appearance of old chapel Edit
The old chapel is now an integral part of the hotel complex.
It has a simple rectangular plan, with a sacristy extension of the same width behind the altar wall and a two-storey former priest's house attached to the left hand side. The right hand wall has a pair of round-headed windows with a square one in between.
The roof is pitched and tiled, as is that of the priest's house. The latter has a hip. The former sacristy has a slightly lower single-pitched roof.
The façade has a triangular pediment and a large door-frame in grey, but no window. It is now rendered in white.
A little campanile or bellcote with a triangular top is perched on the altar wall to the left. This is a sign that the building used to be a chapel, and is visible on the far side of the cortile to the right after you go through the entrance gate from the road.
Exterior of new chapel Edit
The new chapel has the plan of a simple rectangular nave, with a slightly narrower and lower sanctuary having a sacristy annexe at the back. It is situated right on the verge of the road, with a little brick-laid piazza in front with benches.
The walls are rendered in white, with red brick plinths and corner quoins. The two roofs are pitched and tiled. The pitches are quite steep, and the eaves overhang.
There is an impressive tower campanile attached to the left hand side. This is in white, with a band of red brick low down. The bell-chamber sits on a thin brick cornice, and has brick corner quoins. The sound-holes are parabolic in shape -almost Gothic, but without the point. There is a tiled pyramidal cap with a slight overhang.
The entrance is approached by three steps. It is sheltered by a single-pitched floating tiled canopy supported on metal brackets. Above is a lozenge-shaped window (a square perched on its corner).
Interior of new chapel Edit
The interior is tiny, and is in white. The nave roof is open, in longitudinal stained softwood planks. There are battens, and two tie-beams which are supported on pairs of thin wooden piers inserted into the walls.
The sanctuary roof is in the same design, but is lower. There is no triumphal arch, but instead a section of wall shaped like a chevron where the roofs meet. Here there is a tie-beam with an epigraph: Io sona la via la verità la vita ("I am the way, the truth, the life").
A statue of St Anthony with the Christ-child is to the left of the sanctuary, and one of Our Lady of Lourdes to the right.
Mass is celebrated on Sundays and Solemnities at 11:00, except in July and August.