Rimini Chiesetta di San Giovannino
About Chiesetta di San Giovannino
At number 18 on Via Dante are two small chapels guarding the entrance into what was once an ancient religious compound. On the left is the Chiesetta di San Giovannino.
This marble tablet just inside the main door probably belonged to the tomb of an important noble man or a member of the fraternity who founded this place. An inscription shows that it dates to 1660.
The chapel was actually part of a bigger complex from the early 1600’s established by the Confraternita di San Girolamo who date to 1442 themselves.1 Details are a little sketchy but this place may have represented the next most important Holy site after the Malatestiano Temple just a few metres further up the road from here.
Along the sides are 26 paintings by Cesare Pronti, an Augustinian Monk born 1625 in San Giovanni in Marignano. Each one displays Latin inscriptions by a Jesuit called Giovan Antonio Spiritelli. These inscriptions were eventually translated into Italian by Professor Luigi Masini.
The black and white paintings illustrate the main events of San Girolamo’s life which were probably originally placed in the church of the same name: Oratorio di San Girolamo.
The building has undergone serious restoration. Unfortunately, little of its original splendour remains since the complex was practically all but destroyed during WWII. All the paintings were moved to another place during this time and it was therefore only quite recently that they were restored and placed here once again.
Above the altar is this work of art by G.B. Costa depicting the Madonna. It was also moved from San Girolamo in 1796 to this little chapel. There was apparently a high relief completed by the sculptor Antonio Trentanove although it’s not indicated if this was saved from destruction.
This ancient water font dating to the 1600’s shows a lot of wear and tear, mainly from the salt air. The Latin inscription at the bottom reads as a warm welcome and blessings to those who enter here.
What is particularly unusual here are the seating arrangements along the walls. Members of the ancient Fraternity of San Girolamo would sit facing each other and no doubt carry-out their business in strict privacy.
This last image in the sacristy was completed by G. Fabbri. It’s an artistic impression of how the complex may have looked in the past before it was destroyed badly in the last war.