San Martino ai Pelamantelli was a 13th century parish church formerly on the Piazza del Monte di Pietà in the rione Regola.

The dedication was to St Martin of Tours.


This church entered history, along with a swarm of others locally, in the list of churches belonging to the parish of San Lorenzo in Damaso drawn up for Pope Urban III in 1186. Back then, it was known as San Martino de Panerella

Fioravante Martinelli, writing in the 17th century, recorded a tradition that the church had been rebuilt in 1220 by a monk of the monastery of San Salvatore in Rieti called Gualterio. This is odd historically, as ordinary monks do not rebuild churches. What might have happened here is that the monastery had a property portfolio locally which included the church, and that the cellarer (finance officer) arranged the rebuilding as part of the investment. His name in English is Walter, indicating that he was probably a Lombard.

The church was parochial in the late Middle Ages, but the parish failed in the late 16th century and in 1604 it was granted to the Confraternita della Dottrina Cristiana. Was this identical to the confraternity of the same name that later operated at Santa Maria in Traspontina

The name as given derived from that of a street now known as Via dei Giubbonari, and the church also had the nickname of San Martinello because of its small size.

Pope Benedict XIV (1740-58) transferred the confraternity to Santa Maria del Pianto, and gave the church to the Spanish confraternity then running San Giacomo dei Spagnoli (which is now Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore). It was certainly out of use at the time of the Nolli map of 1748, and was ruinous. It was demolished shortly afterwards, if not already; the quoted date for this is September 1747.


The church was on the corner of the Piazza del Monte di Pietà and the Via dei Pompieri. However, the frontage of the block on the piazza used to be at a different angle to that there now. The line of the church façade is now within the footprint of the modern building now there, angling back from left to right.


The church had an unusual plan. The main nave had three bays, including the sanctuary which was not architecturally defined. Structurally there was an aisle on the left hand side, separated by an arcade supported on two pillars. Blocking walls divided the aisle into three side chapels; oddly, the first one also had a wall dividing it from the main body of the church and this would probably have been the baptistery when the church was parochial.

External linksEdit

Nolli map (look for 723)

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