Cappella del Clivo di Rocca Savella is an unofficial title being used for a late 19th century convent chapel located near the Clivo di Rocca Savella in the rione Ripa. It is part of a very large convent complex with a postal address at Via di Santa Maria in Cosmedin 5, although the chapel itself is part of a separate set of buildings with an entrance on the Via di Santa Sabina.
The main convent is the Generalate (headquarters) of the Sisters of Charity of St Jeanne Antide Thouret (Suore di Carità di Santa Giovanna Antida Thouret). This active religious sisterhood was founded by the saint at Besançon in France in 1799, and was inspired by the charism of St Vincent de Paul (hence the dedication). It should not be confused with the Daughters of Charity, founded by St Vincent.
The foundress sent her niece, Sr Rosalie Thouret (who had also joined the congregation) to Rome in 1844 to found an orphanage in premises attached to the hospital of Santo Spirito.
The sisters began to work as ward nurses in the hospital in 1850, and the congregation set up its noviciate in Rome in 1851. This arrangement was not ultimately satisfactory. The Roman Province of the congregation was established in 1859, and three years later the convent was transferred to a house on the site of the present Generalate. However, it took thirty years before a proper convent was put in hand.
This was begun in 1893, and completed two years later by the partnership of Andrea and Carlo Maria Busiri Vici, father and son.
Nowadays, the complex is a historical monument of the large financial and human resources that a late 19th century active religious sisterhood could command.
The buildings associated with the chapel look as if they are older than the main convent, and belonged to a property incorporated into the latter's grounds.
Is this little complex the noviciate (Noviziato "Giulia Valle")?
The chapel has a nave of two bays, and a three-sided apse of the same width. The walls are rendered in a pale tan, except for three pilasters in white down each side of the nave. The roof is pitched and tiled, the apse having three triangular sectors.
There are seven round-headed windows just below the eaves, four for the nave and three for the apse.
A flat-roofed sacristy block is attached to the left hand and back walls of the apse. Otherwise the chapel is free-standing.
A small tiled bell-cote or campanile is perched on the roof-ridge above the entrance.