Sant’Isidoro Agricoltore is a later 20th century dependent chapel of the parish of Santi Urbano e Lorenzo a Prima Porta , and is located in the little suburb of Borgo Sant'Isidro on the Via Tiberina, three and a half kilometres from the junction with the Via Flaminia. This is near the east side of the Cimiterio Flaminio.
This one is not easy to find. It is on the Via Alvito, at the junction with the Via Casalvieri. The postal address seems to be Via Alvito 2, although the Diocese does not provide one on its website.
The patron saint, St Isidore the Farmer , was a farmer near Madrid in Spain in the 12th century.
When the locality began to be inhabited (see below), it seems to have had no name at all. The inhabitants chose Borgo Sant'Isidro for themselves, apparently as a little joke about their rural location. However, the name seems to have little official recognition and you might find the locality referred to as Ente Maremna Valle Lunga.
The settlement here arose after the forced sequestration and distribution of a large farming estate by the Italian government after the Second World War. The intention was to provide land on which displaced persons could settle and work smallholdings as terroni, and here was overseen by a company called Maremna.
However, one undesirable effect here, as with other peripheral areas around Rome, was that a piece of land was subdivided and sold off as building plots. Absolutely no utilities or services were provided -no electricity, mains water or sewerage, and the access roads were rough tracks.
Any subsequent improvements have come about as a result of the inhabitants taking action. For example, the chapel was erected and paid for by them in 1986. They built it themselves, using the site of a public laundry.
Layout and fabric Edit
The chapel is parallel to the street which here has a steep slope. It is on a levelled area, paved in concrete in three shallow steps, front to back. The foundation plinth of the chapel, in concrete blocks, follows these steps.
The edifice has a rectangular plan overall, of four bays including the sanctuary. However, the last is substantially narrower, with a campanile on its right hand side within the rectangular plan. Attached to the back is an ancillary block, narrower but keeping to the line of the left hand side.
The main fabric seems to be in large but rather thin pale brown tufo stone blocks, rough-cut but laid in courses. Each nave bay has a vertical rectangular window, three in each side wall in total. A horizontal strips of three courses of pink brick runs around the edifice, just below the sills of these windows. The ancillary block is rendered in a dull red.
The roof is pitched and tiled, and has overhanging eaves. The front of it is hipped, and the tiles are semi-cylindrical in red. The ancillary block also has a pitched and tiled roof in the same style, but slightly lower so the two roofs don't share a ridgeline.
The campanile is formed by the far right hand wall of the nave being taken up through the roof, and paralleled by a further wall doing the same which is an extension of the back wall of the sacristy. The two projecting wall-slabs are connected by a gabled and tiled cap (the ridgeline parallel to that of the main roof), and has the bells hanging in the void in between. The arrangement includes a clock, the face of which is on the near side wall. The projecting walls are in pink brick, not stone.
The bottom of the campanile, under the roof eaves, is not walled but is left as a void above the brick courses mentioned above.
The eaves of the hip are very deep, and are provided with wooden support struts which spring from the front wall.
The central part of the façade is taken up by the porch, formed by two parallel longitudinal pink brick walls with the doorcase fitted in between them and slightly recessed. The piers of this are in brick, but the tall lintel looks as if it is in marble. It has an incised Greek cross.
The side walls of the porch are taken up through the roof above, imitating the campanile. They are connected by another little gabled and tiled cap. The void below this contains a metal sculpture consisting of a chi-rho symbol within a sunburst, suspended by four diagonal wires. On top of the gable is a cross finial.
Mass is celebrated on Sundays and Solemnities (only) at 11:30.