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Santa Maria dell’Orazione a Setteville

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Santa Maria dell’Orazione a Setteville is a modern parish church at Via Anticoli Corroda 80, which is in the township of Setteville di Guidonia to the east of the city. It is in a new suburb called Marco Simone, north of the old settlement which is on the Via Tiburtina.

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


It was designed by Roberto Panella and built in 2002, at the far east end of the street and replacing a temporary building at number 8, near the west end. The style is post-modern, on a circular plan and with white exterior walls. The entrance façade is framed by an enormous white rectangular frame, almost as high as the church and bounding a glass wall which itself surrounds a white doorcase containing the recessed doors. This wall consists of large square panes in wooden frames. The entrance is accessed by a flight of stairs coming from the left, since the church stands over a crypt which is exposed on the left hand side (the site is sloping). The crypt wall has an open loggia, of pink brick with white supporting columns. Above the façade frame is a solid parapet, following the arc of the plan.

The walls on either side of the façade step down in three stages, and the flat roof steps down likewise. The walls are blank, but are decorated with dark horizontal string courses dividing them into zones of equal height. From entrance to altar, the first curve has nine of these, the second eight and the third, six. At each step, the curved wall moves out radially so as to allow the insertion of a vertical strip of window facing in the direction of the entrance. The first two walls either side of the façade each has strips of window joining up to mimic the façade frame, low down near the façade. These are formed of square panes, too.

There is a tall white tower campanile behind the altar, formed by bringing together vertical segments of cylinders on a rectangular plan. The bell-chamber is formed by two cylinder segments with the curves facing inwards, joined by straight sections and with a rectangular sound-hole in each of the four resulting faces.


The interior is not large. The wall and ceiling surfaces are in white, with most of the natural light coming from the glass entrance façade. The fresco behind the altar is of Our Lady in the ancient iconic style of Wisdom Incarnate. That is, she is praying in the "orans" position (a reference to the church dedication), and on her chest is a circle representing the Universe. This contains the Christ Child as Lord of it, and incarnate within it. Unusually, her robe is red. She has four angels in attendance, one bearing the sun and one the moon.

External linksEdit

Official diocesan web-page

Architect's photo gallery and statistics

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