Santi Vincenzo ed Anastasio alla Regola is a lost 17th century guild church that used to stand on the east side of the junction between Via delle Zoccolette and Via del Conservatorio, to the west of what is now the Ministeria di Grazia e Giustizia on the Via Arenula in the rione Regola.


The church has its first mention in 1186, when it was one of several subsidiary churches dependent on the ancient parish church of San Lorenzo in Damaso.

Back then it was known as Sanctus Anastasius Areolae, which is a variant of Arenula from which the name regola comes. The church overlooked a small bay in the riverbank, in which a sandbank had accumulated and which had this name. This had been created by the current of the river being slowed by the Isola downstream, and dropping some of its load of silt and sand. It vanished when the river was dredged for the building of its embankments in the late 19th century.

Other names on record are in Piscinula and Vidae.

Later the church became parochial, but like several others in the vicinity it was poor. A visitation report in 1566 described the parish as having only twenty poverty-stricken households, certainly inadequate for the maintenance of the church. However, those who had become responsible for it comprised the Compagnia dei Cuochi dell' Annunziata or the Guild of Cooks (i.e. chefs) of Our Lady of the Annunciation. This had been founded in 1513 at the church of San Luigi dei Francesi, and it seems that they were interested in the church here as a charitable outreach.

It was entirely rebuilt in 1640 by the guild, the parish being suppressed in the process. It remained the guild church until its demolition, and was hence also known as Santi Vincenzo ed Anastasio dei Cuochi.

A major re-ordering of the parishes of the Centro Storico took place in 1824, under the bull Super Universam issued by Pope Leo XII. This suppressed the parish attached to the church.

The church was not on the route of the Tiber embankment, now the Lungotevere dei Vallati, but was demolished in 1885 during its construction in order to raise the level of the ground behind it. This was unnecessary, as a retaining wall could have sufficed -but would have been more expensive. There might have been problems with the drainage, too.

A date of 1913 has been quoted for the demolition in recent sources, but this is wrong since Armellini in 1891 describes the church as demolished. Rather, that was the year when the Ministry building was erected.

The chefs' guild moved to San Salvatore in Onda.


Before the embankment, the church stood on a fairly large piazza. The south side was the riverbank, and this was a useful wide open access to the river. To the west was the east end of the Conservatorio delle Zoccolette, where young prostitutes were detained "for their own good". The old Via delle Zoccolette entered the piazza to the north-east of this.

The present Via delle Zoccolette east of the church site was then known as the Vicolo del Merangoio, and entered the piazza just to the south of the present corner with the Via del Conservatorio. The latter was then known as the Via di Strengari, and bent slightly to the south before entering the piazza. When the church was demolished, the Vicolo corner was cut off by running Via delle Zoccolette straight through, and the renamed Via del Conservatorio was straightened. The piazza was abolished. What this means is that the site of the church façade is not now on the street frontage at the junction. The entrance was just behind the tree now on that corner, and the right hand edge of the church was where the railing wall of the ministry building is now.


This was a small church, and the plan was a straightforward square. The cross-vaulting was supported by four pillars within, and each face of each pillar had a Corinthian pilaster supporting the vault springer. There were eight other such pilasters on the internal walls, two flanking the entrance, two flanking the presbyterium and two on each side wall. The presbyterium was a little square apse, slightly less than a third of the width of the church, with a triumphal arch.

The early Baroque two-storey façade had a simple design, in three vertical zones with the central one brought forward slightly. The first storey had a pair of tripletted Doric pilasters at the outer corners, supporting an entablature with a projecting cornice. The entrance was a simple doorcase, over which was a small vertical rectangular window. Two other such windows, larger, flanked the entrance. The second storey had an identical arrangement, except that doorway and small window were replaced by a window the same size as the other two. The entablature of this storey was topped by a coat of arms in an aedicule which only occupied the central third of the width, this being crowned by a little triangular pediment. The outer corners of this storey had two halves of a broken and separated segmental pediment.

There were four side altars, as well as the main altar, but no side chapels or altar niches. There was a tiny entrance porch, included in the protruding part of the façade. The main altar had an altarpiece of the patron saints, Vincent and Anastasius the Persian by Giuseppe Errante, and one of the side altars was dedicated to St Chalcedonius the Martyr who was meant to have been a cook and who hence was patron of the guild.

External linksEdit

Italian Wikipedia page

"Romeartlover" web-page

"Roma Sparita" photos

Nolli map (look for 746)

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