Rome Travel Guide

Rome Sights

Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza

  • Corso del Rinascimento 40 Map It
  • Piazza Navona
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 06/20/2007

Fodor's Review

The main facade of this eccentric Baroque church, probably Borromini's best, is on the stately courtyard of an austere building that once housed Rome's university. Sant'Ivo has what must surely be one of the most delightful "domes" in all of Rome—a dizzying spiral said to have been inspired by a bee's stinger. The apian symbol is a reminder that Borromini built the church on commission from the Barberini pope Urban VIII (a swarm of bees figure on the Barberini family crest), although it was completed by Alexander VII. The interior, open only for three hours on Sunday, is worth a look, especially if you share Borromini's taste for complex mathematical architectural idiosyncrasies. "I didn't take up architecture solely to be a copyist," he once said. Sant'Ivo is certainly the proof.

Sight Information


Corso del Rinascimento 40, Rome, Latium, 00186, Italy

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Sight Details:

  • Closed July and Aug., and Mon.–Sat.

Published 06/20/2007


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