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You are in: Home » Culture and leisure » Historic places of worship » Catholic Churches » Chiesa San Bartolomeo all'Isola
Typology: Small Basilica


Other: Piazza di San Bartolomeo all'Isola, 22
Zone: Rione Ripa (Circo Massimo-Bocca Verità-Aventino) (Roma centro)


Telephone: 06 6877973
Email: info@sanbartolomeo.org (prenotazione visite guidate)

Opening times

For the timetable of the masses and visiting conditions, please consult the contacts.

Scheduled events


The church of St Bartholomew ("De Insula") was built in the 10th century by Emperor Otto III on the ruins of the Temple of Aesculapius and dedicated to St Adalbert. It was restored on commission by Pope Paschal II in 1113, and then again in 1180, after taking the title of St Bartholomew.

Ruined and almost completely destroyed by a flood of the Tiber river in 1557, it was readapted and remodelled in 1624 by Orazio Torriani, with a two-storey Baroque façade and a portico. Finally, it was restored in 1852. Standing out on the horizon, and visible from the banks of the Tiber, is the twelfth-century Romanesque bell tower with three-mullioned windows.
The interior of the church is divided into three naves by two orders of fourteen ancient columns. The peculiarity of the structure is that it has a raised transept and apse. The coffered ceiling is rich in paintings and frescoes (1865).

Sacconi Rossi
The 'Veneranda confraternita de' devoti di Gesù Cristo al Calvario e di Maria Santissima Addolorata' (Venerable brotherhood of the devotees of Jesus Christ at Calvary and of Our Lady of Sorrows) was founded by a group of believers in 1760, under the protection of Cardinal Domenico Orsini. Eight years later they were welcomed at the seat of San Bartolomeo all'Isola.

The congregation was recognised by Pope Pius VI Braschi who, in 1784, granted it the right to build a cemetery in the basement, under the oratory, to bury the deceased brothers.
The members of the confraternity used to wear a red hooded cloak when carrying out their activities, hence the popular name of Sacconi Rossi, by which they are still commonly known today. From the beginning, they dedicated themselves to recovering the bodies found in the Tiber and giving them a decent burial. The bodies, once recovered, were taken to one of the confraternity's rooms and then immersed in a basin containing water and slaked lime to be disinfected. After the religious service, the stripped bones were placed in a decorative manner in the crypt of the convent, which over time became an imposing cemetery similar to the more famous Capuchin crypt in Via Veneto.
In the 19th century, the confraternity underwent a period of decline and, around 1960, came to extinction.
The initiative then died out, but since 1983 it has been given a new impetus by the Archconfraternity of S. Maria dell'Orto. Since then, every year on 2 November, a Holy Mass is celebrated in the Church of S. Giovanni Calibita, officiated by the fathers of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God, better known as "Fatebenefratelli", followed by an evocative procession with lighted torches along the banks of the Island in order to throw a wreath into the Tiber accompanied by prayers for the dead.
The ceremony sees the Sacconi Rossi and the "big brothers" of the Madonna dell'Orto united in prayer with a large number of the faithful at the evening Mass of suffrage: the long procession of psalmody by the light of candles evokes the pious atmosphere of the most genuine popular traditions of the past.
In recent years, the tradition of the Confraternita dei Sacconi Rossi has been taken over by the religious and hospital community of Fatebenefratelli of the nearby San Giovanni Calibita hospital. Info: www.santamariadellorto.it

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See also

Culture and leisure › Cultural heritage › Architectural and historical heritage
Last checked: 2022-07-13 15:13