The cult of San Rocco was probably born in Scilla in the 15th century, when the area was hit by a plague and the saint was credited for saving the locals.
Around that time, Scilla had important commercial relations with Venice, where the relics of San Rocco were held. In the 16th century, one of the saint’s statues was transported from Venice to Scilla, and San Rocco became the patron saint of the town.
The Church of San Rocco was built in 1738, on the site of a former church dedicated to St. George. The church was heavily hit by the earthquakes of 1783 and 1908, being rebuilt each time.
The today’s church is the result of a rebuilding started in the 1970s and completed in August 1990. The rebuilding was made with the help of the local people, and it became necessary after the damage suffered by the building during the Second World War.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The facade of the church, with two columns at the center and two semi-columns on the sides, reminds of an ancient temple. The columns are surmounted by a tympanum with a large bas-relief created in 2003 by the sculptor Mario Benedetto.
The monumental entrance wooden door, divided into eight carved panels, was made by Rocco Foca in 1885.
The interior of the church, spacious and bright, was built in Neoclassical style, with a single nave. On either side of the entrance door, there are two paintings – on the right, the Miracle of Saint Anthony, and on the left, Saint Francis of Assisi in Glory.
Inside, we can also find two statues of San Rocco, one sculpted in marble, on the altar, and the other one made of wood, used in the processions related to the saint’s day. Two other paintings are kept near the presbytery – Saint Anthony in Veneration of the Child and Saint George in Veneration of the Virgin. The paintings are attributed to Antonio Filocamo.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of San Rocco is located about 800 meters away from the Scilla train station, or about 15 minutes on foot. Use the map below to find the church in no time.