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Santa Maria del Carmine e San Giuseppe al Casaletto

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Santa Maria del Carmine e San Giuseppe al Casaletto is a 20th century parish church on an old site at Via del Casaletto 691 in the suburb of Casalletto. This is part of the Gianicolense suburban district, and is just north of the Via Portuense.

There are actually three churches on the site, of increasing size and decreasing age. The two newer ones were built in turn as the parish grew.

The joint dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and St Joseph her husband. 

First churchEdit

The first, small church was built in 1773 at what is now Via del Casaletto 701 and was nicknamed La Parrocchietta because of its small size when it was made a parish church in 1781. The parish still uses this nickname, for example on their URL. This was replaced by a second church at the same address in 1853, and after a period of deconsecration was brought back into use as the parish grew. Finally, when the third church was built in 1933 it was handed over to the Camillians and re-dedicated to St Camillus. It is presently being used by a secular Camillan confraternity first called the Fiaccola della Carità or “Torch of Charity” but now the Confraternita del 'Santissimo' Sacramento.

It is actually on the Via Portuense, and used to be on a slope above the road. However, road widening has left it at the top of a concrete revetment. It is a simple rectangular building, with the priest's house attached to the right hand side wall as part of the edifice. The pitched roof has a cat-slide over the house. The entrance façade is gabled, in grey render with a triangular pediment containing a round window. There is a large window with a shallow curved top in the centre, and near the ground there is a vertical rectangular tablet with sill, lintel and two skinny round pilasters. This is flanked by two shallow vertical rectagular recesses which look like former windows. The actual entrance is round the left hand corner, accessed by a staircase from the Via dei Casaletto.

Second churchEdit

The second church, of 1853, was designed by Nicola Carnevari and is only a few metres directly behind the first one; both are on a north to south axis. Uniquely for Rome, it has a cemetery which the parish owns. About 1900 it was enlarged by adding an aisle and a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Health. This church was administered by the Silvestrine Benedictines.

This church is just as simple, merely larger. It had a very simple gabled façade with a lunette window in the centre, over the door. The De Alvariis sketch (see external link) shows a pediment above a dedicatory inscription, but this may be a figment of the imagination since this artist is notorious for inaccuracy in architectural detail. Since the third church and monastery was built, it has had the south side of the cloister built onto its altar end, and the entrance façade altered by having a lower building constructed across it. The lunette window has been blocked, and replaced by two vertical slits.

Third churchEdit

The third church, of 1933, was built by the Capuchins after they had taken over from the Silvestrines. It was designed by Tullio Rossi and Francesco Fornari, and is attached to a convent for the Capuchins. It contains a venerated image of the Madonna della Salute which used to be in the second church.

This church is aligned west to east, and is to the north of the other two with the convent cloister between it and the second church. It is an unaisled rectangular edifice, with a pitched roof and a separate, lower rectangular presbyterium. There are three small external chapels on the left hand side.

The gabled entrance façade is blank orange brick, with a row of three rather small round-headed windows in the centre. These are recessed, and have no decoration. There is an external loggia with a pitched roof and five square portals separated by square pillars. This does not stretch across the width of the façade, since convent buildings intrude on both sides.

The parish is now administered by diocesan clergy.


The year of the construction of the second church needs some confirmation. The Italian Wikipedia entry has 1853, as does the parish website, but a depiction by Alvariis showing it with the first church is labelled 1842. Was the latter depicting the original proposal?

External linksEdit

Official diocesan web-page (parish church)

Official diocesan web-page (confraternity church)

Italian Wikipedia page

Parish website

Historical articles on parish website

Sketch by Alvariis 1842 (Unreliable both as regards situation and design.)

Photo of second church

Photo of third church

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