Rome Italy Mormon Temple
On 4 October 2008 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that it would build a temple in Rome, Italy. The site ison nearly fifteen acres located at 376 Via di Settebagni. This site is on the outskirts of the city in the picturesque countryside near a freeway exchange.
Originally, trenches were dug every 10 to 15 feet across the property, since construction could not continue if Roman ruins were discovered. Latter-day Saints in the area held a special fast in the hope that the site (which the Church purchased in the 1990’s) would be free of antiquities. No antiquities were discovered anywhere on the 15 acres, yet a Roman village was discovered just 100 yards beyond the property’s boundary.
The Rome Italy Temple will be the first temple in Italy and in the Mediterranean region. For years, Italian Saints have traveled the long distance to the Bern Switzerland Temple, which now serves more stakes and districts from Italy than from any other country. The temple will be the twelfth built in Europe.
The first Mormon missionaries arrived in Italy in the 1850’s, including Lorenzo Snow, future prophet of the Church. The early converts (slightly over 200) emigrated to the United States, and the mission was closed. Attempts to obtain permission for missionaries to come again to Italy were rebuffed by the Italian government in 1900. The Church was finally reestablished in 1951, and the Church has made a movie about the first convert, Vincenzo di Francesca, who found a charred Book of Mormon in a trash bin. It was missing its cover and title page, so at first, he had no idea what he was reading. Italians who had converted outside of Italy returned to the country. In 1964, there were over 200 members in Italy.
Missionaries were again allowed to proselyte in Italy in 1965. Today, there are about 23,000 members in the country. The Church is hoping to gain government approval granted to the Catholic Church and others. Signed by the prime minister in 2007, the “concordate” must still be approved by parliament.
Construction of the Temple Proceeds
Construction began in Rome for the new Latter-day Saint temple, when Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with Church and local community leaders, participated in the traditional groundbreaking ceremony for the temple on 23 October 2010.
“My heart is filled with gratitude,” said President Monson as he addressed the 500 guests in attendance. “Members throughout Italy, and the entire Mediterranean area, will be able to come here.”
*See this website dedicated solely to the Rome Italy Mormon Temple.
The temple exterior is being constructed from granite with decorative glazing. The interior finish will be of the finest material and workmanship: marble, woodwork, Venetian plaster and decorative painting. The three-story temple will be approximately 40,000 square feet with two tall spires when completed.