The Tempietto di Sant’Emidio alle Grotte (“Little Temple of Saint Emidio at the Caves”) is one of Ascoli Piceno‘s most important monuments.
Tempietto di Sant’Emidio alle Grotte Ascoli Piceno
Address: Via Carso, snc – Ascoli Piceno. Phone: +39 334 3565078. Opening times: Call the above number to make an appointment.
History and description
Located on the site where Ascoli Piceno’s catacombs used to be, the Tempietto di Sant’Emidio alle Grotte was built by Giuseppe Giosafatti in 1717.
As a source of inspiration for this Baroque church, Giosafatti used the Santa Maria della Pace Church in Rome.
The travertine marble façade stands against a tufa rock and consists of two levels, the lower of which is characterized by a portico with six columns, in which the coat of arms of Pope Clement XI is depicted. The most striking feature of the upper part is the effigy of the two angels at the corners holding a palm (symbol of martyrdom).
The interior of the temple is carved into the tufa, an easily worked volcanic stone. The side walls are lined with plain stone and the vault with brick.
What to see
Behind the altar is a statue of Sant’Emidio himself, also made by Giuseppe Giosafatti.
Some holes have been dug in the back wall. This is where the Saint himself and some of his followers were buried before being transferred, in the early 11th century, to the Cathedral crypt.