Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria

sights / Religious

Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria information

Rome , Italy
Address
Street Via XX Settembre 17
Getting there
metro Repubblica
Opening hours
7am-noon & 3.30-7pm
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Lonely Planet review

This modest church is an unlikely setting for an extraordinary work of art – Bernini’s extravagant and sexually charged Santa Teresa trafitta dall’amore di Dio (Ecstasy of St Teresa). This daring sculpture depicts Teresa, engulfed in the folds of a flowing cloak, floating in ecstasy on a cloud while a teasing angel pierces her repeatedly with a golden arrow.

Watching the whole scene from two side balconies are a number of figures, including Cardinal Federico Cornaro, for whom the chapel was built. It’s a stunning work, bathed in soft natural light filtering through a concealed window. Go in the afternoon for the best effect.