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The Church of San Giuseppe is located at 22 Via Santa Teresa, between Via dei Mercanti and Via Francesco d’Assisi. It is a little-known Baroque gem, built by the Camillian friars, who were followers of Saint Camillus and belonged to the Order of Ministers of the Sick, founded by Pope Sisto V in 1591. They are also known as the “Friars of the Good Death,” as one of their activities was providing spiritual assistance to the dying.

The construction

The Camillians arrived in Turin in 1678 and initially established their headquarters at the Ospizio di Carità (Charity Hospice). A few years later, the Augustinian nuns, in search of new spaces, ceded the site where the current church stands to the friars. In 1683, they began the renovation works.

Church of San Giuseppe
Church of San Giuseppe

The architectural design is likely attributed to Carlo Emanuele Lanfranchi, although the original drawings were lost during the French occupation. Therefore, it is not possible to determine the architect of the church with absolute certainty.

The restoration preserved the late 17th-century structure, which was nevertheless completely remodeled and restored.

The new church is dedicated to Saint Joseph, and the friars managed it until the Napoleonic occupation, which abolished almost all religious corporations.

Church of San Giuseppe
Main altar

Unfortunately, the original frescoes on the façade were erased in 1854. The façade was further renewed by architect Giuseppe Ferrari d’Orsara in 1909, giving it its current appearance. While the exterior may appear rather plain, lacking specific frescoes and stucco work, the interior houses a true Baroque treasure.

Interior of the Church of San Giuseppe

The interior of the Church of San Giuseppe boasts a single nave, flanked by two spacious side chapels. At the heart of the church stands a monumental high altar, which dates back to 1696 and was meticulously crafted by Giovanni Battista Trucchi di Levaldigi, who served as the finance minister of the duchy. The church features a splendid dome that crowns the sacred space.

Church of San Giuseppe
The dome

Virtually all the paintings and frescoes in the church are dedicated to glorifying the founder of the Camillian order, Camillo de Lellis, who was beatified in 1742 and canonized in 1746.

Noteworthy is the cupola, entirely adorned with the most significant episodes from the life of Saint Joseph.

The entire decoration has undergone restoration on several occasions, including in 1909 when the façade was also revised, and again in 1913. Additional restorations carried out in the 1910s brought to light the splendid organ on the Baroque wooden balcony.

Within the sanctuary, relics of Saints Faustino and Santa Esuperanza are preserved.