The Church of San Giuseppe is a beautiful church in Taormina, dedicated to Saint Joseph. The church, built in Baroque style in the second half of the 17th century, stands near the famous Torre dell’Orologio, dominating the main square of the town, Piazza IX Aprile.
The church was built after 1650 as the seat of the Confraternity of the Souls in Purgatory. On the facade of the church and also inside, there are numerous references to the confraternity: inscriptions, coats of arms, details of sculptures, bas-reliefs, mottos and allegorical figures.
In 1919, the church was given to the Fathers of the Salesian Order, present in Taormina since 1911. The order enriched the church with new sculptures and thematic frescoes.
In Autumn 2015, water infiltrations and humidity caused by heavy rain determined the collapse of the ceiling, and the church was closed for consolidation and restoration works.
A majestic double staircase leads to the church, and both the stairs and the porch in front of the building are fenced with a magnificent stone balustrade.
The facade has a large central portal that leads into the church, and two small side portals, of which the right one leads into the Sacristy and the left one leads into a recreation area that is often used for exhibitions. Above the main portal, in a niche, there is a large marble statue of Christ the King, with his right hand raised in blessing and his left holding a large cross.
Inside, the main altar of the church is made with polychrome marble of Taormina. Above the Tabernacle, at the center of the altar, stands a small dome supported by six marble columns. Along the side walls, there are frescoes with the figures of the prophets and Gospel scenes.
Next to the church, on the right side, stands the bell tower, whose lower part is square and is made with large blocks of Taormina stone. In the central part, there are four rounded arches, inside which the bells are housed. On top, the bell tower has a conical dome with four small windows.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of San Giuseppe is located on the pedestrian street Corso Umberto, about 450 meters away from Porta Messina, the edge of the historical center of the town. To find it easily, use the map below.