In Alberobello the worship of Saints Cosma and Damiano developed perhaps during the seventeenth century in the oratory next to Acquaviva's palace. Believers, who were very attached to the here-stored painting, had made a copy of it in order to put it on the church altar. Since 1725 this church was enlarged and a cemetery was built next to it.
In 1785 the Saints relics - which were stored in Bari - were taken to Alberobello. Ten years later, the church was enlarged again, by the construction of the nave perpendicular to the main one and two new altars, the first one dedicated to Saint Paschal Baylon and the other one dedicated to the Lady of the Rosary. The main altar was rebuilt and the choir was added behind it. In 1797 the baptismal font was added.
On the main altar a new painting was put, illustrating the Virgin Mary together with Saints Cosma and Damiano, Saint Francis from Paola and Saint Joseph. Until 1871 believers carried this painting during the procession. In order not to risk the painting to be stolen a peasant, Giuseppe Domenico Rinaldi, asked the sculpture Antolini to make two wood statues of the Saints. The sculpture delivered only one of the two before dying, that of Saint Cosma (in 1782). Therefore, the other one was made by Luca from Rutigliano in 1784.
In 1814 the church became a parish. In 1881 the Municipality decided to remake the façade, asking the architect Antonio Curri (1848-1916) to design it. The new façade - which is built with limestone - possesses pillars and columns. The pediment is flanked by the statue of Saint Peter and that of Saint Paul. The church has two bell towers, whose cells end with a pyramidal roof. The big stairs get to a pronaos. Here, a marble memorial slab remembers the remaking of the new façade, which was inaugurated in 1885.
In 1973 a polyptych representing Crucified Christ with the Sorrowful Mother and Saints was put on the lunette. Two years later the bronze door replaced the old one. On the door there are eight bas-relieves representing the Beatitudes and 59 characters.
According to Curri's project the apse was renovated and took an octagonal shape; moreover, six big windows were made. The dome, on the other hand, has never been built. In the 40's and 50's the two transept arms were enlarged and the niche in which the two Saints statues are situated was built.
The building structure has been finished in 1966.
The years later other works have been added, e.g. the main altar and the suspended crucifix, made by Adolfo Rollo. He also made the ten paintings representing "The Holy Mother with the Child among Saints" and "Christ among prophets and Saints of New and Old Testament".
Onofrio Bramante, on the other hand, painted "The mercy of Lord" and "The guide Jesus", together with the fourteen paintings representing "The way of the Cross" and "The Holy Mother from Pompei".
Translated by Ilaria Noemi De Carlo