Latest photographs of The Rome Italy Temple have been released showing the progress of the construction of the buildings on the Temple site in the Settebagni area of Rome. The temple is being built on a 15 acre site which will serve over 23,000 church members living in Italy and in neighboring countries. The Rome Italy Temple will be the twelfth in Europe and the first in Italy.
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.
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 Rome Italy 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.”
In attendance at the morning ceremony was Mr. Giuseppe Ciardi, representing the mayor of Rome, Giovanni Alemanno, and other local government representatives.
"A ceremony that profoundly touched me for the sincere and heartfelt appreciation of those attending," said Senator Lucio Malan. "A positive day for Italy because those who profess to obey the laws of the state and the laws of God make the country in which they live a better place."
The temple will be part of a new religious and cultural centre which will include a multifunctional meetinghouse, a visitors’ centre, family history centre and patron housing. Much of the centre will be open to the public and will include buildings and gardens that will be of interest to and benefit members of the Church in the surrounding community.
Latter-day Saint temples differ from the Church’s meetinghouses or chapels where members meet for Sunday worship services. Temples are considered “houses of the Lord” where Christ's teachings are reaffirmed through marriage, baptism and other ordinances that unite families for eternity. In the temple, Church members learn more about the purpose of life and strengthen their commitment to serve Jesus Christ and those around them.
There are two temples in the United Kingdom, The London Temple in rural Surrey at Lingfield, and the other at Preston, Lancashire, scene of some of the early baptisms which took place in England.