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Official Web site: Chiesa di San Filippo Neri
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The Church of San Filippo Neri is located in the historic center of the city, at the intersection of Via Maria Vittoria and Via Accademia delle Scienze, just a few steps away from Via Roma and Palazzo Carignano.

The Confederation of the Oratory of San Filippo Neri arrived in Turin in 1649 with a papal bull from Innocent X. Founder of the Confederation was Father Pietro Antonio Defera. Unexpectedly, he passed away the following year and was replaced by the young Sebastiano Valfrè in 1651.

The congregation’s steady growth prompted its members to seek accommodation with private spaces. They were assigned the Church of San Michele, which was believed to be located near Porta Palazzo. Later, they established the Oratory in the private residence of the Blancardi family, near the Church of San Francesco d’Assisi. Finally, they occupied a house in Borgo Po made available by Abbot Scotti.

In 1653, Queen Maria Cristina of France relocated them to the Church of Corpus Domini. However, the spaces proved insufficient for the congregation, so they returned to Borgo Po, where they had a small prayer church built by Cardinal Maurizio di Savoia.

In 1668, the congregation changed location once again and settled in the Church of Sant’Eusebio, located between Via Santa Teresa and Via XX Settembre.

Finally, in 1675, Carlo Emanuele II entrusted them with a plot of land for the construction of a new church as part of the city’s expansion. The erection of the church, however, was as lengthy and complex as the search for a suitable stable location had been.

Church of San Filippo Neri
Church of San Filippo Neri

The Church

First project was entrusted to the architect Antonio Bettino, who completed the cloister and oratory in 1678, allowing the fathers to settle in. The construction of the church then passed to Guarino Guarini, who introduced some modifications to Bettino’s original design. Guarini’s sudden death in 1683 once again halted the works.

In 1703, the structure was nearly covered, but subsequently, the construction site suffered significant damage during the siege of Turin in 1706. When work resumed, almost completed, violent rains caused the collapse of the dome on October 26, 1714.

At this point, the project was assigned to Filippo Juvarra, the new court architect. He worked on it for twenty years, starting in 1715, studying the necessary modifications and beginning the major works in 1730. With the departure of the Messina-born architect to Spain in 1735 and his death the following year, the direction then passed to Giovanni Battista Sacchetti.

Church of San Filippo Neri
Church of San Filippo Neri

Finally, although not yet fully completed, the church was opened for worship on May 26, 1772, the feast day of San Filippo Neri.

The completion of the structure took place between 1823 and 1854, carried out by Giuseppe Maria Talucchi. He completed the interiors in 1824, the neoclassical façade in 1834, the sacristy in 1851, and finally the steps and flooring.

The State buy the building

Since the unification of Italy, a significant portion of the congregation’s buildings has gradually been acquired by the State to make way for the Central Office of State Telegraphs, the typography of the Chamber of Deputies, and the Civil Engineering Department. In 1908, part of it was acquired by the municipal administration. In 1929, the Congregation was expropriated to create the headquarters of the provincial federation of the fascist party, which later became the university building known as Palazzo Campana.

Currently, the Congregation retains the church, the oratory, and part of the original house.

Arts into San Filippo Neri

With its impressive dimensions of 77 meters in length and 33 meters in width, the Church of San Filippo Neri stands as the largest place of worship in Turin. It occupies a central location within an area of significant historical and artistic interest, situated at the intersection of Via Maria Vittoria and Via Accademia delle Scienze. Notably, it is just a short distance from the “Collegio dei Nobili” (currently housing the Egyptian Museum), Palazzo Carignano in the adjacent square, bustling Via Roma, and Piazza Castello.

Church of San Filippo Neri – The Palliotto of Piffetti

During the Easter period, the church is adorned with an extensive carpet spanning over one hundred square meters, a generous gift from the Duke of Aosta in the late 19th century.

Beneath the church lies a 17th-century funerary crypt, where the ashes of the founder, Father Defera, are also preserved.

Among the remarkable furnishings, the magnificent Paliotto del Piffetti stands out—a true masterpiece crafted by the master cabinetmaker. Currently, this work of art is housed in a display case at the MIAO (International Museum of Applied Arts).

Barbieri Giovan Francesco alias il Guercino
Il matrimonio della Vergine
1650-1699 Oil painting

The Congregation also boasts a rich library containing over 5,000 volumes, including documents and accounts spanning the community’s history since their establishment in Turin. While the library is not open to the general public, it can be visited by appointment.

Within the Casa dei Padri (House of the Fathers), you’ll find six paintings by Guercino. One of these depicts Sant’Eusebio and was publicly exhibited in 2015. The remaining five paintings feature female subjects from the Old and New Testaments. The last public exhibition of these works dates back to 1969.

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