Cocchieri (Coachmen’s) Chapel

The Cocchieri crypt is the hidden jewel of the church of Santa Maria dell’Itria alla Kalsa, in Via Alloro. The church, commissioned by the Confraternity of Coachmen, was completed in 1611 over the crypt of the Confraternity of Carters. The Sepulchral crypt is a vast underground room with a rectangular layout which extends below the church and the churchyard and is divided into two sections by a large staircase: on the walls of the spacious premises are the remains of ninety burial recesses, intended to house the mummified bodies of the monks. On the lower floor are the “putridarium premises”, a veritable church used for religious services, mainly the suffrage of the deceased, of the two Confraternities. Inside is a lowered triumphal arch supported by two quadrangular pillars, the ceilings are of the barrel and cross vaulted type and the floor still retains original pieces of two-colour terracotta consumed by time.

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