Rio Elba Church of San Giacomo

Church of San Giacomo and Quirico Rio Elba

Rio Elba the church of San Giacomo erected during the Pisan dominion on the island and subsequently fortified with solid bastions, it denounces its medieval origin in the three-nave layout, although today it appears to have been modified by eighteenth-century restorations and alterations . Among the works preserved inside, the seventeenth-century canvas depicting the “Mystical Wedding of Santa Caterina”, attributed to Giovanni da San Giovanni, marble tombstones of illustrious Piombino figures and a rich supply of sacred silverware.


In manuscripts found, we read that the church of San Giacomo in Rio Elba is of immemorial origin (within living memory, having always been such, it has always been so). In the century XI, there is mention of the church of S. Jacopo, as existing where it is currently located, although the four bulwarks of the ancient fortress were still there.

The patronage of the church, from the Domination of the Maritime Republic of Pisa, passed in I398 to the APPIANI Princes, Lords of Piombino and the Island of Elba; during the reign of Giacomo IV Appiani, it had its greatest enlargement and almost total reconstruction on the site and portion of the fortress. (from the RIO statute, section XVII).

Translation of the relics of S. Quirico, from the church of GRASSERA

Behind the main altar of the Church of Rio Elba a plaque commemorates the translation of the relics of S. Quirico from the 4th century church. of GRASSERA, which was destroyed in 1534 by the hordes of the famous corsair KAIREDDIN BARBAROSSA so the church of RIO assumed the title of SS/mi GIACOMO Ap. and QUIRICO Saint Paul of the Cross preached here in 1773. On the walls, tombstones and sculptural coats of arms commemorate important figures and the various Governors General, buried here, representing Elba, the Prince of Piombino.

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE On the second day (5 May 1814) of his arrival on Elba, wanting to visit the Ferro mines, he rode along the Volterrajo road and, with his entourage, arrived in RIO, where he was received with great celebration by the Clergy. and all the people; The keys of the Castle were offered to him by the Maire G.Gualandi, and he entered this church where a solemn “TE DEUM” was sung in his honor.

Matrix of the ancient “FERRAJA” church and spiritual right over that of S.STEFANO of the TRANE

The church of Rio Elba until the year 1558 was the matrix of the church of the ancient “FERRAJA” ( Portoferraio ) and had the spiritual right until the year 1692 on church of S. STEFANO alle TRANE , built by the Pisans (XII century) The church of Rio Castello (as the town once was called) surrounded by four defensive bastions, connected to each other by a walkway, closed off the medieval village, almost to protection. By resolution of April 4, 1880, the Bastion of S. Giacomo to the right of the church was demolished and reduced to a terrace, like the one on the left, to give a more airy in the churchyard. Over the centuries this sacred building often underwent restorations and renovations, the bell tower collapsed at the end of the 1800s and was rebuilt as it is today, in the first decade of this century.

Valuable works inside the Church of Rio Elba are:

1 ° The painting depicting the “Mystical Wedding of St. Catherine of ALESSANDRIA” by Giovanni da San Giovanni Valdarno.

2 ° The wooden statue of the “Madonna del Pianto” by an unknown artist.

Stree View

Square of Popolo and the Fortezza San Giacomo Church

How to reach Church of San Giacomo Apostolo (Rio Elba)

The church of Santi Giacomo e Quirico is located in the upper part of the ancient Piazza di Fuori in Rio Elba

Location Church of San Giacomo Apostolo (Rio Elba)