Santa Giuliana is a 20th century Fascist-era convent chapel with a postal address at Via Alessandro Algardi 19 in the suburb of Monteverde Vecchio in the Gianicolense quarter (but see note at end of history secton, below). A picture of the chapel on Wikimedia Commons is here.

The patron saint is Juliana Falconieri (1270-1341), a Florentine noblewoman who founded the first community of Servite tertiary nuns or Mantellate, and whose uncle was one of the founders of the Servite friars.

History Edit

The chapel was built for a new monastery in 1936. The community for which it was built is much older, having been established in 1803 at the Trastevere church of Santi Maria della Visitazione e Francesco di Sales delle Mantellate.

The nuns were evicted to make way for a prison in 1884, and eventually settled on the Via Mocenigo in the rione Prati in 1908. It was their intention to stay here, and in fact they proposed a new church dedicated to their remote foundress. The foundation stone of this was laid in 1926, but suburban development meant that the community had a re-think and decided to move to a less crowded site.

The suburbs chased the nuns. The new locality in its turn was developed especially after the Second World War, and so the community moved on again in 1958. They are now at Santa Maria Addolorata delle Monache Mantellate, down the Via Portuense.

The redundant monastery was sold to the Suore dell'Addolorata, Serve di Maria di Pisa. This branch of the Servite family of religious was founded in 1895. in order to provide nursing staff at a hospital at Pisa. It formally affiliated to the Servite order in 1916, and received papal approval in 1954. While maintaining its headquarters at Pisa, the congregation began to establish missionary centres outside Italy and now (2017) is described as operating in Albania, India, Philippines and Indonesia.

However, the word is that the female congregations of the Servite order have been more severely affected by the collapse in religious vocations than average. In 2011, this congregation was down to 197 sisters in 23 convents.

The Roman convent has been shut down, and the premises were recently sold to the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies.

The congregation seems to have kept hold of the chapel, and the Diocese lists one sister in residence in the so-called Casa di Procura. This has an address at Piazza Francesco Cucchi 2, which is the entrance to the former chaplain's quarters of the convent (right hand side of the chapel).

The chapel is performing no public pastoral function, and is possibly in danger of deconsecration.


The chapel has its own architectural identity, although it is joined to the main five-storey convent building at its far left hand corner.

This is a simple little rectangular building in vaguely neo-Romanesque style, having a central nave with six bays and structural side aisles flanking the far five bays.

The central nave side walls have five round-headed windows in each side, with molded frames in white. The brick walls are otherwise rendered in pale purplish-pink. The main roof is pitched and tiled, with the aisles having single pitches. The sanctuary is a five-sided apse, the same width as the nave.

Where the left hand side aisle joins the convent block is an attached tall rendered brick slab which is the campanile. It has two round-headed apertures, one above the other.

Façade Edit

There are no windows or other decorations on the façade, except a white statue of Our Lady in a round-headed niche coloured blue which is over the entrance.

The entrance has an external porch. This has an arched portal, and also a rather odd-looking broken triangular pediment which flanks the statue niche.

Interior Edit

The apse contains a fresco of The Deposition of Our Lord from the Cross, and also a sculpture of The Annunciation. There is also a set of the Stations of the Cross in glazed pottery. These art-works are by Lorenzo Ferri.

External linkEdit

Italian Wikipedia page

Info.roma web-page

Roman Despatches - blog with pictures

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