Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Rome Sights


  • Piazza Sant'Ignazio Map It
  • Piazza Navona
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine
  • Fodor's Choice
  • Ceiling, Sant Ignazio, Rome, Italy

    (c) Sedmak |

Updated 04/02/2015

Fodor's Review

Rome's largest Jesuit church, this 17th-century landmark harbors some of the most city's magnificent trompe-l'oeil. To get the full effect of the marvelous illusionistic ceiling by priest-artist Andrea Pozzo, stand on the small disk set into the floor of the nave. The heavenly vision above you, seemingly extending upward almost indefinitely, represents the Allegory of the Missionary Work of the Jesuits and is part of Pozzo's cycle of works in this church exalting the early history of the Jesuit Order, whose founder was the reformer Ignatius of Loyola. The saint soars heavenward, supported by a cast of thousands; not far behind is Saint Francis Xavier, apostle of the Indies, leading a crowd of Eastern converts; a bare-breasted, spear-wielding America in American Indian headdress rides a jaguar; Europe with crown and scepter sits serene on a heftily rumped horse; while a splendid Africa with gold tiara perches on a lucky crocodile. The artist repeated this illusionist technique,

so popular in the late 17th century, in the false dome, which is actually a flat canvas—a trompe l'oeil trick used when the budget drained dry. The overall effect of the frescoes is dazzling (be sure to have coins handy for the machine that switches on the lights) and was fully intended to rival that produced by Baciccia in the nearby mother church of Il Gesù. Scattered around the nave are several awe-inspiring altars; their soaring columns, gold-on-gold decoration, and gilded statues make these the last word in splendor. The church is often host to concerts of sacred music performed by choirs from all over the world. Look for posters at the church doors or see for more information.

Read More

Sight Information


Piazza Sant'Ignazio, Rome, Latium, 00186, Italy

Map It



Sight Details:

  • Daily 7:30–7 (in Aug. 9–7), Sun. and holidays 9–7

Updated 04/02/2015


Map View

Map of

What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in Rome

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss



No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.