ORATORY OF SAN ROCCO
Via San Rocco, 147043 Gatteo (FC)
Opening times on weekdays: closed
Opening times on Sundays and holidays: closed
Open all year round
You can get to the church by car
Since the demolition of the Church ‘San Lorenzo’ in 1821, the oldest church in Gatteo is San Rocco.
The church was probably built about in XIV century in honour of San Rocco, the so-called anti-plague saint. The village had suffered plague epidemics also in 1435/36 and in 1458/61.
The structure of the building is very simple, it is a typical gabled church with a single nave and a wooden structure.
Inside there are few openings to the outside: a small rose window above the entry door, a window and a side door, which once led to an adjoining cemetery (later the cemetery was moved to the outskirt of the village). There was originally another window, but it has been bricked up.
The church was decorated with frescoes of the most worshipped saints, and in 1571 it was equipped with five altars.
Above the main altar was an image of San Rocco, which was later painted also on the tympanum of the front door.
There have been several restorations the oldest (1484) is testified by an inscription on a stone near the entrance; the most important were in 1947, which focused on the structure damages caused by the war, and in the 90s, which focused on the frescos.
The frescoes are indeed what makes this little church an artistic jewel. They depict: the Madonna and Child with San Rocco, the Madonna with St. Anthony Abbot, the Madonna and Child with Saints Helen, Gothard and John Baptist, St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Sebastian, Christ on the cross, holy women and St. John the Evangelist.
Inside the church there is also a papier mâché statue representing San Rocco wearing the typical pilgrim dress with a shell and a pumpkin, accompanied by a little dog.
Sometimes concerts and exhibitions are organized and take place in the oratory. In August for example, during the traditional Patron Saint Festival of San Lorenzo, exhibitions dedicated to important Christian figures are organized by the cultural association ‘VAR Ragazzi’.
Entrance: free entry
Latest update: 22/01/2021