The little church of San Ranieri in the ancient Guilla quarter, also called Santissimi Quaranta Martiri (Forty Saintly Martyrs), was built in 1605 by an order of merchants from Pisa who lived in Palermo, and was dedicated to the 40 soldiers of the XII Roman Legion put to death in a swamp in 320 CE because of their Christian faith. It was not a random choice that a swamp of the Papireto river, which was thereafter cleaned at the beginning of the 16th Century, became the site of this church. The facade, a typically simple example of the early Palermo baroque, features the coat of arms of Pisa above the portal. The interiors are a wonder of baroque decoration thanks to the fresco paintings done by the Flemish painter, Guglielmo Borremans, in 1725. The vault features a Borremans bright fresco representing the Holy Virgin Assumption, surrounded by illusionistic paintings of architectural elements by Gaetano Lazzara, and scenes of martyrdom of saints from Pisa. The walls are richly decorated with circles representing saints and rose windows with monochrome examples of Pisa’s monuments. The chapels are just as beautifully embellished, featuring stories of the Old Testament. A chapel on the left hosts a wooden 17th-century statue of Holy Mary of Canceddi, which comes from the church of the same name.
- Open Hours: Sunday to Sunday from 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM