Albano Laziale

Convento and Church of Cappuccini

A wide stairway, buried among the oak trees, leads to the church, which displays the simplicity of Franciscan convent architecture. The convent built upon Prince Paolo Savelli's demand and financed by Flaminia Colona Gonzaga was finished in 1619.

The shape of the church is almost a perfect rectangle with a single nave and two side chapels expressing the simplicity monks should follow in their lives. The only decorative element is a horizontal wall strip running under the Presbyterian vault and the barrel vault of the main body.

The altarpiece painting by Gherardo delle Notti in 1618 portrays Flaminia Gonzaga facing towards the Madonna with the Child and St. Bonaventura contemplating the vision of St. Francis. In the background you can notice il Convento di Palazzolo and Monte Cavo. In the right hand chapel there is a sculptural group representing the Nativity by Andrea Bolgi and Stefano Speranza, artists of the Bernini school. The influence of the school can be recognized by the elegant lines of the drapery and face designs.

The convent was abolished twice, the first time in 1810 by Napoleon and the second time in 1873 by the Italian Government; in 1876 a real estate fund (Fondo per il Culto) transferred the convent, the church and its woods to the town of Albano. At the beginning, the council used the convent as a charitable institution, but later it sold by auction. The monks were able to buy the building and gardens while the woods remained government property.