Chiesa di Sant’Andrea della Valle


in Centro Storico

A must for opera fans, this towering 17th-century church is where Giacomo Puccini set the first act of Tosca. Its most obvious feature is Carlo Maderno’s soaring dome, the highest in Rome after St Peter’s, but its cavernous baroque interior reveals a wonderful series of frescoes by Matteo Preti and Domenichino, and, in the dome, Lanfranco's heady depiction of heaven, Gloria del Paradiso (Glory of Paradise; 1625–28).

Competition between the artists working on the church was fierce and rumour has it that Domenichino once took a saw to Lanfranco’s scaffolding, almost killing him in the process.

An English-language mass is celebrated every Sunday at 1pm.