Dedicated to Saint Catherine, but also know as the church of the Domenicani after the Domenican friars who founded it, this uncompleted church stands in Piazza dei Domenicani in the Venezia district of Livorno. It was founded in 1720 and inaugurated in 1755. It was designed by Giovanni del Fantasia who had to abandon the work in order to supervise the building of the Chapel dedicated to the Madonna in the Sanctuary of Montenero. Its octagonal design is unusual, and the recently-restored interior with its seven large chapels is well worth a look.
Of particular note
is a large altar piece by Giorgio Vasari (1571) portraying the Incoronation of the Virgin, recently restored. Note the beautiful wooden choir stalls (1604) below the painting, currently being restored. There is also an old organ dating from 1837, and paintings from the Passignani school, and others by Livornese artist Giuseppe Maria Terreni (1783) and his cousins Jacopo and Antonio. In the chapel dedicated to the Rosary Madonna is a wooden crib scene by Livornese sculptor Cesare Tarrini (1932). It was in this church that Saint Elizabeth Anna Seton, the first American saint, is said to have converted to the Catholic faith. Also look out for the relics of San Valentino Martire.
The restoration of the cupola was completed in 2007 after 20 years of work.
Piazza dei Domenicani, tel. +(39) 0586 894090
Mass: Mon to Thu and Saturdays: 6pm; Sundays and holidays: 11am; Fridays 10.30am
The church is open to visitors every morning until 12.30pm and afternoons from 4-7pm.