Santa Maria Assunta e San Giuseppe a Primavalle is a mid 20th century parish church with a postal address at Via dei Monti di Primavalle 3, in the east part of Primavalle quarter. The main entrance is on the Piazza Clemente XI.

The double dedication is to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the aspect of her Assumption, and to St Joseph.

History Edit

The parish was set up in 1951. The architect Tullio Rossi provided a design in that year, which was implemented by Renato Costa. The church was completed in 1953.

The community was put in the care the Poveri Servi della Divina Provvidenza, also known as the Opera Don Calabria after its founder, St Giovanni Calabria. He founded the congregation in Verona, where the headquarters still are. The parish church is part of a complex which is the congregation's base in Rome, and which includes a house of studies and a "therapeutic community".

The original Rossi design of the façade involved an external loggia with a single-pitched tiled roof supported by a pair of brick piers and with a large round window above. This was subsequently substantially remodelled.


Layout and fabric Edit

The church has a rectangular plan, with a single nave of seven bays and a five-sided external apse. There are no side aisles. The entrance has a further shallow sub-bay, and a little cubical external chapel is attached to each side of the third bay.

The nave side walls are rendered in a very light brown. The bays are separated by red brick pilasters which have a slight batter, and each bay wall except those of the last bay has a round window in a brick frame. The entrance sub-bay side walls are entirely in brick.

The apse has a round-headed window in each diagonal side.

The main roof is pitched and tiled, with overhanging eaves. The apse roof is lower, pitched in sectors. The two little side chapels have pitched and hipped roofs.

On the right side of the apse is the priests' house, and where this attaches to the top right hand corner of the nave there is a campanile on the roofline. This starts as a quadrilateral slab in the same colour as the nave bays and the frontage of the house, with no seam between it and the latter. The left hand edge is vertical, the right hand one slopes inwards. This slab is topped with a horizontal brick string course, above which it continues as a round-headed sound-hole with a little tiled gable. Another brick string course cuts across the arch.

Façade Edit

The façade is bounded by another pair of the battered pilasters seen on the side walls. In between these are five horizontal zones. The first is a low travertine limestone plinth. The second is blank brickwork, with the very thin bricks or tiles arranged in a herringbone pattern which gives a zig-zag effect. The centre zone is occupied for its entire height by the single entrance, which has a very thin door-case.

Above, the third zone is a deep band of limestone revetting. The fourth zone is more herringbone brickwork.

The fifth zone occupies the gable, and a narrow strip below the triangle. It comprises an enormous window with a limestone frame and twelve vertical pier mullions, rather alarmingly like a shark's mouth.

The third zone is the seat of a floating concrete canopy, having three shallow curves forming a central cylindric segment flanked by two hemi-segment. The underside of this canopy bears a mosaic -a very unusual feature.

The bronze panels on the entrance door feature scenes from the New Testament.


Nave Edit

The interior is rather simple, a single nave with engaged square piers holding up the roof. The latter is open in typical Rossi style, with longitudinal wooden rafters and transverse open triangular trusses. The piers have heavy trapezoidal block capitals, and the bases are clad by a high wooden dado which runs around the interior.

What enlivens an otherwise rather boring interior is the rendering on pilasters and arch, broad horizontal stripes of brick red and creamy white on the pilasters and radial ones of brick red and yellow on the triumphal arch of the apse. The frames of the round windows have wide radial striping, too. This decorative scheme is an allusion to the origins of the Servi Poveri who were founded in Verona -many old buildings there are stripey.

The side chapels each have a stone entrance arch within a triangular gable with the tip touching the frame of the round window above. The arch has three concentric orders in both archivolt and supporting pilasters, and these step back. The pilaster capitals are blocks. The chapels contain statues of Our Lady and St Joseph.

To the left of the sanctuary is the interesting circular chased silver tabernacle, and to the right is a portrait of St Giovanni Calabria the founder of the Poveri Servi.

Sanctuary Edit

The apse contains a painting of the Assumption in a realistic style, flanked by round-headed stained glass windows.

Access Edit

The church is open (parish website, June 2018):

Daily 7:00 to 12:00, 16:45 to 19:30.

Liturgy Edit

Church Edit

Mass is celebrated (parish website, June 2018):

Weekdays 8:00, 18:30;

Sundays and Solemnities 7:30, 9:00, 10:15, 11:30, 18:30 (in summer, 8:00, 10:00, 18:30).

"Summer" here in 2018 was from 11 June to 23 September.

Rosary is recited at 18:00 daily, before the evening Mass -except Thursdays..

There is Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Thursdays from 8:30 to 18:00, followed by Vespers and Benediction.

External Mass centres Edit

The parish has two public chapels:

San Pio V a Primavalle

Resurrezione di Nostro Signore Gesù Cristo a Primavalle (including "Cappella di San Francesco").

External linksEdit

Official diocesan web-page

Italian Wikipedia page (a stub)

Parish website

Beweb web-page

Info.roma web-page

Roman Despatches - blog with gallery

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