The official name of the Cappuccinelle Church and Convent in Palermo is Monastero Sacra Famiglia Clarisse Cappuccine. It is run by an enclosed religious order, so some parts of the church are closed off and cannot be visited by lay people.
Cappucinelle Church Palermo
Address, opening times and admission
Address: Chiesa del Monastero delle Cappuccinelle – Via delle Cappuccinelle, 109 – 90138 Palermo. Tel: +39 091 6114745. Opening times: From Monday to Saturday form 07.00 till 09.00; Sundays from 10.30 till 12.30.
History and description
The Cappuccinelle religious complex was constructed between 1732 and 1750. It was built for St. Clare’s Cappuccino order. The rather austere façade is decorated with 18th century stucco, while the interior consists of one big nave, with a number of wide side chapels. The paintings in these chapels date back to the 17th century.
What to see
The presbytery is closed off from the rest of the church by a grille. This was usual among the enclosed religious orders, who are to separate themselves completely from the material world. The choir above the entrance is closed off with a similar cast iron gate.
The large crypt is only accessible to the nuns themselves. It used to function as a burial place for members of the order and for female members of the local aristocracy. The latter had to pay for the honor, however, and were placed in a second space, away from the nuns. The latter’s mortal remains were placed vertically, in niches. They had a piece of string tied around their heads ,as a symbol of their humility.