Church of the Holy Cross ~ Taranto Capitale di Mare

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Church of the Holy Cross

Via SS. Annunziata, 74123 Taranto TA



This major worship place, today dedicated to the Holy Cross and St. Giovanni di Dio, was certainly part of an important religious complex (Monastery of the poor Clares), of which we have testimony since 1363.

The lack of documentation doesn’t let us trace with certainty the various historical and constructional phases of the structure.

From a notarial deed dated back to 1673, we learn exclusively of the construction of a convent by the Discalced Carmelites, in an area occupied by the ruins of an ancient female monastery.

The conventual structure was abandoned a few years after its construction because it was damaged and subsequently strongly compromised by the earthquake of 1743.

The following years were characterized by numerous consolidation measures completed in the first decade of the 1800s and with the change of use that led it to become a civil and military hospital managed by the Company of the hospital friars of St. Giovanni di Dio.

The change in the use of the spaces and the assignment to the new religious order led to the change of the name of the complex which was dedicated to the Holy Cross and St. Giovanni di Dio.

The church, adjacent to the former convent, was originally dedicated to Santa Teresa and dated to 1669. Despite having been built mostly by local workers, it  stands out for the beauty of the lines and the internal architecture.

Reference point in the faith of the inhabitants of the “Taranto Nuova” of the time, it was elected as the first parish of Borgo Umbertino in the 1920s.

The general plan is a typical Latin cross surmounted by a dome and divided into three naves.

The interior furniture is characterized by the high refinement of the workmanship.

Remarkable are the beautiful wooden statue of Sant’Antonio (dated to the seventeenth century) and the venerated wooden Holy Crucifix (considered miraculous). These are works made by the friar Angelo da Pietrafitta in the first thirty years of the 1600s.

The frescoes of the presbytery La Crocifissione (the Crucifixion) and Il Miracolo di Elia sul Monte Carmelo (the Miracle of Elijah on Mount Carmel) are by Tommaso della Volpe (1883-1967), from Romagna. Whereas, on the terminal walls of the naves it is possible to admire two large canvases dating in all probability to the 18th century, depicting, on the left, the Martyrdom of San Bartolomeo and on the right Saints and Angels.

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Available services

Disabled access

Parking lot



099 452 1685


Opening hours

Monday:07.00 – 12.00 / 16.00 - 20.00
Tuesday:07.00 – 12.00 / 16.00 - 20.00
Wednesday:07.00 – 12.00 / 16.00 - 20.00
Thursday:07.00 – 12.00 / 16.00 - 20.00
Friday:07.00 – 12.00 / 16.00 - 20.00
Saturday:07.00 – 12.00 / 16.00 - 20.00
Sunday:07.00 – 12.00 / 16.00 - 20.00

Church of the Holy Cross is part of the following itineraries

Find out other interesting places by clicking on one of the suggested itineraries


Via SS. Annunziata, 74123 Taranto TA



Church of Carmine

Piazza della Vittoria

Neo-gothic Chapel – St. Francesco di Paola (at the village)

Piazza Maria Immacolata

Archita Palace – Office building

Post Office Building

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