San Giuseppe al Casale di Rebibbia is a deconsecrated 17th century farmstead chapel on the Via di Ponte Mammolo in the suburb of Rebibbia, in the Ponte Mammolo quarter.

The dedication is to St Joseph.

History Edit

The Casale di Rebibbia, also known as the Casale de La Vannina, is one of the surviving fortified farmsteads which existed in the Roman Campagna in the Middle Ages. The term casale refers to a farmstead with some sort of defensive feature, most often a tower into which the inhabitants could retreat on the arrival of marauders. One of these featured here.

The casale is on a bluff overlooking the ancient Ponte Mammolo, where the original Via Tiburtina (not the present road at this location) crossed the Aniane river on the Pons Mammeus (the later Ponte Mammolo). It is certain that this location would have been occupied by either a military outpost or a villa complex, or both at different times, as soon as the first bridge was built. However, as usual with these casali, both documentation and archaeology are lacking. A tufo stone quarry of the 1st century AD is close by, however.

The mediaeval farmstead was completely rebuilt in the 17th century, although it seems that mediaeval fabric survives in the present complex. The chapel dates from this rebuilding. The alternative name La Vannina derives from one Pietro Vannino, who was on the papal government's agricultural board in the mid 20th century and who presumably ordered the remodelling.

The suburbanisation of the locality left both casale and chapel redundant. The latter was inadequate, so the new parish church of Sacro Cuore di Gesù a Ponte Mammolo was founded in 1936. The chapel is not now listed by the Diocese as a place where Mass is publicly celebrated.

Until recently, the Casale functioned as a hospitality centre for the Solvay chemical works nearby. However, these have now been shut down.

Appearance Edit

The chapel seems to be the little gable-roofed building, in an indifferent state of repair, next to the gateway of the casale and facing the street. It has a cat-slide extension of its roof to the right, covering an annexe.

If this was the chapel, the public entrance from the street was blocked up a long time ago.

External links Edit

Info.roma web-page

"Roma Tiburtina" web-page

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