There’s a little chapel in Chifenti which most people, I’m pretty sure, have passed by without even noticing it was there. Apart from the gothicky windows there’s not much outside to admit that it’s a chapel. Stuck at the end of a row of somewhat dilapidated buildings it looks equally abandoned.
However, just turn the key of the green door,
draw the velvet curtains facing you and you enter into a veritably sweet and well-kept chapel. The oratorio del Carmine at Chifenti is a double-vaulted building with a lovely decoration of stars adorning its arches. The altar has modestly grandiose pretentions with its serpentine columns hinting at those ones in the colossal Bernini baldachino of St Peter’s basilica, Rome. The altar painting shows the Madonna receiving Saint Anthony of Padua, he of the child Jesus. Delighful angels crown the summit of the altar.
It’s a charming place to stop at whether one has religious inclinations or not. I sometimes enter its sacred precincts when there’s something on my mind that needs sorting out and, inevitably, I exit the chapel with a clearer idea of what I’m supposed to do about it.
We first discovered the chapel when we bought our house in Longoio in 2005 and felt it was right to give thanks to the deity that everything went smoothly in our purchase.
The holy water stoups are beautifully carved.
One word of warning, however: when you leave the chapel be careful of the maniacs driving at full pelt on the road just outside it…the Madonna’s help may not always be sufficient to safeguard your road crossing.