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Santa Maria a Setteville

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Santa Maria a Setteville is a modern parish church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, at Via Ludovico Muratori 43 in the suburb of Setteville. This is part of the township of Guidonia Monticelio, is north of the Via Tiburtina and east of Settecamini.

The church is in the diocese of Rome, but not in the municipality.

It was completed in 2000, to a spectacular contemporary design. The main body of the edifice is low in elevation, and there is an enormous entrance canopy completely occupying the width of the church and supported on three pairs of concrete pillars. Hence there is no façade as such but, instead, a red-brick campanile towers above the centre of the canopy. This is square, with chamfered corners and a grey pyramidal cap. There is a clock face below the wide square bell opening, and a porthole window at the base of the tower.

Once through the entrance, you are in a rectangular narthex with the long side on the transverse axis. The campanile is straight ahead.

The main body of the church is octagonal in plan, behind the campanile, with a trapezoidal endo-narthex around the campanile, trapezoidal transepts and also an apse forming a Maltese cross. The apse is much bigger than the transepts. The roof has eight pitches meeting at a lantern, with a wide flat border between the pitches and the eaves. Over the apse and the transepts are sections with a negative pitch, the one over the apse again being larger.

The church is unusual in having an archeological museum in its crypt. During its construction, a stretch of the ancient Via Cornicolani was found, paved with basalt blocks, and this has been preserved and is on view. Also on show are many artefacts, including ones illegally excavated and recovered by the police authorities. This establishment is known as Il Museo della via Cornicolana.

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