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The church of the Novelli Innocenti in Carloforte

Giorgio Dagna, The church of Novelli Innocenti in Carloforte. Tourism Consortium of Carloforte
Giorgio Dagna, The church of Novelli Innocenti in Carloforte. Tourism Consortium of Carloforte

According to half–legend, in 1212 a group of crusader children left Marseilles for the Holy Land. Of their seven ships, two wrecked near the Island of San Pietro, and in their memory, the little church of the Novelli Innocenti was built on request by Pope Gregory IX. According to a document housed in the State Archive of Cagliari, it is probable that the late Baroque architect Augusto della Vallea intervened on the ruins of the small medieval church. In 1738, della Vallea had worked on the urban lay–out of Carloforte, likely also putting his hand to the church. The building realized by della Vallea stands out for the harmonious simplicity of its architectural lines, of clear Piedmontese character: the small façade stands out on the summit of the Fontane Hill, surrounded by a flourishing pine forest, framed by powerful pilasters and crowned with a triangular tympanum and pinnacles that recall the work of Filippo Juvarra. Inside, the single room is covered with a large lowered vault.
The church houses the remains of the Carloforte admiral Vittorio Porcile, who clashed with Napoleon in the Battle of the Maddalena of 24–25 February 1793, on the occasion of the attempted occupation of Savoy Sardinia. The Porcile family took on the burden of restoring the building starting in 1796, reopening the church for services on 14 November of that year. But the monument sustained changing fortunes in the nineteenth century as well, remaining closed for long periods of time. The definitive reopening for services dates to 1928, when a plaque dedicated to admiral Porcile was mounted in the interior.
At the end of the 1980s, the church underwent a conservation restoration.

Church of the Novelli Innocenti
Via dei Novelli Innocenti
Carloforte (Carbonia–Iglesias)

The church is open on request. Telephone reservations are accepted
Free admission

+39 0781 855735