Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria

Tridente, Trevi & the Quirinale

Designed by Carlo Maderno, 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. It's in the fourth chapel on the north side.

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