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Santa Rita da Cascia in Campitelli

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Santa Rita da Cascia in Campitelli is a deconsecrated 20th century church (incorporating 17th century work) situated on the junction between Via Montanara and Via del Teatro Marcellino in the rione Campitelli. Pictures of the church at Wikimedia Commons are here.

It is dedicated to St Rita of Cascia, an Augustinian nun who lived from 1377 until 1447, and should not be confused with the church of Santa Rita da Cascia alle Vergine near the Trevi Fountain which is also dedicated to this saint.


The original church was built perhaps in the 11th century on the Piazza Aracoeli, and was called San Biagio in Mercatello (also called Campitello). It was rebuilt by Carlo Fontana, the façade being completed in 1665.

In 1900 St Rita was canonized, and the church was rededicated to her. It became a centre of devotion to her in Rome, and was administered by a pious confraternity. This moved to Santa Rita da Cascia alle Vergini in 1904.

In 1928, the original church was demolished as part of Mussolini's remodelling of Rome. The little campanile and an ancient apse fresco survive on site, the latter protected by a small canopy. The rest of the church was reconstructed on its new site beginning in 1937, using original stonework. The war interrupted progress, and the project was only finished in 1940

However, the confraternity at Santa Rita alle Vergini were not interested. Hence the rebuilding proved pointless, and nobody wanted the new church. It was eventually deconsecrated in 1990, and the ownership reverted to the city.

After a throrough restoration in 2000, the building is in good condition and is now used for exhibitions. Paradoxically, this means that access is easier than with many small Roman churches, and is usually without charge.


The façade is basically the one designed by Carlo Fontana in 1665. It features four Corinthian pilasters framing a triple-arched entrance with an oeil-de-boeuf window over the central door. For a fuller description, see San Biagio in Mercatello.


The interior is octagonal in layout, stretched along the major axis and with an apse. The four diagonal walls have pairs of gigantic Corinthian pilasters, and the ceiling vault has a pattern of garlands forming a Maltese cross in cream on grey -quite attractive if restrained.

All paintings and statues have been removed, but the Baroque altar and tabernacle, featuring inlaid coloured marbles, are in situ and can be examined.

External linksEdit

Italian Wikipedia page

(Also see San Biagio in Mercatello)

"Sovraintendenzaroma" web-page

Info.roma web-page

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