All images © by Roberto Piperno, owner of the domain. Write to email@example.com. Text edited by Rosamie Moore.
Page revised in October 2010.
Chiesa della SS. Trinità e Ospizio de' Pellegrini (Book 9) (Map C3) (Day 7) (View D8) (Rione Regola)
In this 1759 etching, Giuseppe Vasi showed a group of pilgrims on their way to Ospizio dei Pellegrini e dei Convalescenti, a charitable institution founded by St. Philip Neri to provide assistance to pilgrims during the Jubilees and the Holy Week;
in ordinary periods the building housed convalescents. The etching was most likely based on a scene Vasi personally watched in 1758 when Pope Clement XIII called a special Jubilee Year.
Apparently only minor changes have occurred from the time of the etching: the top of the church fašade has been slightly modified, the adjoining building has lost its coats of arms and the rear side of Palazzo del Monte di PietÓ has an additional storey, but the modern building in the background indicates that all the refectories and dormitories of Ospizio dei Pellegrini were demolished in 1940.
SS. TrinitÓ dei Pellegrini was built in 1614-16, but the fašade was designed by Francesco de Santis in 1723; it is slightly concave and reminiscent of that of S. Marcello; the tympanum had an oval window which was closed with a stucco relief having at its centre a triangle, a symbol of the Trinity (you can see it in the image used as background for this page). The church is one of the few historical buildings of Rome which still retains the reddish colour which characterized the city until a few years ago (see a page showing the changes which have occurred in the last ten years).
Ospizio dei Pellegrini had separate divisions for male and female pilgrims; the dormitories had nearly 500 beds and the refectories could seat nearly a thousand guests; in addition to the church the establishment had an oratory (lost) in Via delle Zoccolette opposite Collegio Ecclesiastico, where at Vasi's time Jews had to listen to a sermon on Saturdays.
At one point the management of the hospice felt the need to identify pilgrims from travellers in search of a free lodging; in 1843 Rev. Jeremiah Donovan wrote in his Guide to Rome: "To be admitted as pilgrims they must come from a distance of at least sixty miles and bring with them the attestation of their bishop, certifying that they come to visit the holy places. All go to Confession and Communion during their stay, and hear a moral discourse morning and evening. (..) The reception of the pilgrims during the Holy Week is at once edifying and affecting. Bishops, Cardinals, Ambassadors, Princes and Kings, vested in sack-cloth, the uniform of the confraternity, wash and dry and kiss their feet, attend them at table, and serve them with more than menial humility and assiduity."
The Alberteschi were a powerful Roman family during the Middle Ages;
their towers were located behind S. Benedetto in Piscinula in a neighbourhood
known as Ripa Romea where many Jews lived.
Salomone was a recurring name in the family and it eventually identified a branch of the Alberteschi; when they built (or acquired) a
large palace in Via dei Pettinari they decorated it with Solomon's knots, a traditional Jewish symbol (you may wish to see an ancient synagogue decorated with these knots at Sardis).
Onda is the Italian word for wave and it is generally thought that the appellation of this
small church is due to the fact that it was frequently flooded; because of this the medieval
church was modified several times and its floor was raised. The current building, including the fašade,
is the result of changes made in 1845 and in 1877. In 1844 the church was assigned to St. Vincenzo Pallotti and it still belongs to Societas Apostolatus Catholici (external link), the congregation he founded which from 1854 to 1947 was officially known as Pious Society of the Missions.
Next plate in Book 9: Chiesa e Ospizio di S. Galla
Next step in Day 7 itinerary: Monte della Pietà
Next step in your tour of Rione Regola: Collegio Ecclesiastico a Ponte Sisto