Santa Maria della Vittoria

Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome

Santa Maria della Vittoria
Churches & Cathedrals
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08:30 - 12:00, 15:30 - 18:00
08:30 - 12:00
15:30 - 18:00
08:30 - 12:00
15:30 - 18:00
08:30 - 12:00
15:30 - 18:00
08:30 - 12:00
15:30 - 18:00
08:30 - 12:00
15:30 - 18:00
08:30 - 12:00
15:30 - 18:00
08:30 - 12:00
15:30 - 18:00
What is Travellers’ Choice?
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The area
Neighbourhood: Sallustiano
How to get there
  • Repubblica - Teatro dell'Opera • 4 min walk
  • Barberini - Fontana di Trevi • 6 min walk
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
7,966 within 5 kms
2,055 within 10 kms
Popular mentions

2,621 reviews
Very good

Murmansk, Russia22,399 contributions
Jun 2021
The church got its fancy name after the victory of the Catholic League in the Battle of the White Mountain near Prague over the Czech Protestants. Catholics really did not rejoice for long. The European religious war did not end there and continued for another 28 years, eventually receiving the name of the Thirty Years' War. There are images of Mary the Victorious in the altar, on the ceiling, but tourists do not come here for this. The church is famous for Bernini's sculpture "The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa". Bernini used a plot from the life of Teresa of Avila, since she described her life in great detail. However, not everyone sees the religious content in Teresa's ecstasy. One Frenchman quipped: "If this is religious ecstasy, then I am well acquainted with it." Bernini himself at this time was also experiencing a stormy love for the young wife of his assistant. Unfortunately, this church for me has rather become Santa Maria della Sconfitta. More Defeat than Victory. The reason is simple. The marble ensemble "Ecstasy of St. Teresa" by Bernini turned out to be inaccessible. Under reconstruction, in the scaffolding behind which you can't see anything. Not Theresa, not her ecstasy. However, do not despair. Bernini returned to this topic at the end of his life and composed "The Ecstasy of Ludovica Albertoni". With the same charge of sensuality. The sculpture is located in the Church of San Francesco a Ripa. In Trastevere. Not close, but is it a distance to experience ecstasy?
Written 13 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paul O
County Monaghan, Ireland2,089 contributions
Aug 2021 • Business
This small but beautiful church is located just up the hill from Piazza Barberini and is worth a quick visit.

The churches most famous sight is “The Ecstasy of St. Teresa”. Unfortunately when I visited (end August 2021), this was under renovation so you I could not see it. However the rest of church is still very nice.
Written 1 October 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mie Sveistrup
Copenhagen, Denmark11 contributions
Jun 2021 • Friends
We wanted to see the sculpture Ecstasy of Saint Teresa because of Dan Browns description of the sculpture in ‘Angels and Demons’. The sculpture is located in the church and the church was gonna open half past three but it didn’t. We waited for almost and hour and then we left…
Written 6 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Johny K
4 contributions
Sep 2020
Everyone should definitely visit this hidden gem, not only because of the Bernini sculptures. Also, don't be shy to visit the Sacristia, which many people don't know they can.
Written 9 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Texas612 contributions
Sep 2019
The cathedral was down the street from our hotel and was actually not on our list of things to see or tour while in Rome. We love touring old churches and cathedrals in Europe, but in Rome, there is one on nearly every corner (Rome reportedly has over 600 cathedrals) which makes it impossible to see them all. However, one afternoon as we passed the cathedral, we noticed it was very busy and decided to stop in and take a look. We later learned that the basilica has become extremely popular since it appeared in the novel Angels & Demons, written by the American author Dan Brown. Santa Maria della Vittoria (Our Lady of Victory in English), dates from the seventeenth century and was built to commemorate the Catholic armies of Emperor Ferdinand II's victory at the Battle of White Mountain. Although the church’s exterior isn’t very impressive, its interior is extravagantly decorated. No surface is left unembellished: everywhere you look you see colorful pilasters and columns, gilded stucco, marble reliefs, dynamic statues, and vibrant paintings. There is very little natural light inside the church. It is lit with candles which creates a dark but special atmosphere. One of the most notable parts of the church is the Cornaro Chapel that houses the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, a sculpture by Bernini that is considered to be a sculptural masterpiece of the Baroque period. I would highly recommend visiting, however, the church is relatively small so prepare for tight quarters during tourist season. Touring is free and does not require a reservation. (PaM)
Written 1 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Beijing300 contributions
Feb 2020 • Family
The Fire church of Four Elements , if you know angles and demons . Saint Theresa in ecstacy of Bernini is right here. The church is near to Republica place and worth going .
Written 24 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Monaco32,114 contributions
Feb 2020 • Friends
The church was erected to commemorate the victory of catholic army of Emperor Ferdinand II over the the Protestants at the Battle of the White Mountain, near Prague, which marked the end of the Bohemian period of the Thirty Years’ War.
S. Maria della Vittoria was built in 1608-1620 at the expense of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V.
Dedicated to St Paul at first, in 1622 the dedication was changed because the new church was chosen to house a small, sacred image found in the garbage at the castle of Pilsen, to which the Catholic imperial armies led by Ferdinand of Habsburg attributed the victory over Protestants (1620).
The façade was designed by Giovanni Battista Soria, a favourite architect of Cardinal Borghese.
Its harmonic façade, somehow a repetition of the neighboring church of Santa Susanna (by Maderno), is by Gian Battista Sorìa.
Characterized by two orders of pilaster strips, in the lower part, it has a brief stairway and a portal enriched by side niches.
Although the church’s façade isn’t very impressive, and its look is rather modest, its interior is extravagantly decorated. Since there is very little natural light inside the church, it is filled with candles, which create a very special atmosphere.
The interior of the church, with one nave, is adorned with extremely rich stuccos, marbles and golds.
Notheworthy are the the beautiful vault ceiling by Giuseppe and Andrea Orazi depicting the “Triumph of Faith Over Heresy”.
The second chapel altarpiece is “Jesus Appearing To The Saints” by Nicholas Lorrain”.
In the third chapel on the left is Guercino’s The Most Holy Trinity” and Guido Reni’s s portrait of Cardinal Berlinghero Gessi.
The organ is very remarkable, interesting are the seventeenth-century paintings by Domenichino "S.Francesco in ecstasy" and "S.Francesco receives the stigmata" in the second chapel on the right, but the most famous work of the church is the Cornaro Chapel by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Cardinal Federico Cornaro commissioned Bernini a chapel in 1645, at a time when the artist was not enjoying the favour of the papal court.
The Cornaro (or Corner) were a very important and rich Venetian family which included Caterina Cornaro who was Queen of Cyprus in the late XVth century and a number of dogi, Venice's supreme magistrates.
With the Cardinal, Bernini did not have budget limitations and he and his team worked for years (1647-1651) on a chapel in honour of St. Theresa in the church of S. Maria della Vittoria.
The Cornaro chapel is perhaps the richest of all the chapels, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini who coordinated a team of sculptors and high level artisans. In fact Cardinal Cornaro required Bernini to execute personally the sculptures and the outcome is one of his masterpieces.
Cardinal Cornaro wanted many members (including ancestors) of his family to be commemorated, so Bernini devised two reliefs showing them in the background of the nave of a church. The first impression is to see them in the boxes of a theatre.
On the altar, in the middle of the chapel, the two marble figures of Santa Teresa and the Angel are surrounded by divine light beams materialized into bronze.
In these theatre boxes at the two sides of the altar, Bernini portrayed members of the family: while Cardinal Cornaro is engrossed in watching the ecstasy of St. Theresa, the other men in the box are busy chatting.
It is a sort of “marble stage” : seven cardinals and a doge of the Cornaro family are depicted inside two theatrical stages to admire the spectacle constituted by the Ecstasy of S Teresa.
"Santa Teresa trafitta dall’amore di Dio" (Ecstasy of St Teresa) is an extraordinary work of art, Bernini’s extravagant and sexually charged masterpiece.
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.
The light falls from hidden windows in the top of the altar on the statues of the saint and of the angel.
The use of golden rays will again be considered by Bernini in St Peter's Chair of St Peter.
Although this small church looks rather modest from outside, we were impressed by its art treasures it holds inside.
We will go back one day.
A must visit.

Written 23 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sudbury, MA29,505 contributions
Dec 2019 • Solo
Chiesa di Santa Maria Della Vittoria is home to the magical Bernini’s masterpiece: “The ecstasy of Santa Teresa”. For me, it is one of the most stunning example of Bernini’s art and I kind of agree with Simon Schama’s interpretation of what the ecstasy is all about. Teresa's face is so human, in Bernini’s interpretation, there is nothing divine about it, and this is exactly what I liked the most.

The interior of this small one nave church is surprisingly opulent and lavish: beautiful ceiling, multicolored marble columns, elaborate gilded stucco sculptures, beautiful paintings by Guercino, Domenichino and other masters.

I was very fortunate to visit Chiesa di Santa Maria Della Vittoria twice during my latest visit to Rome. Unforgettable!
Written 25 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Trieste, Italy325 contributions
Feb 2020 • Solo
One of the most living clear expression of Barrochian Style. As everyone mentions Bernini is there but building itself deserves the whole visit. A place for not to be missed!
Written 17 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Montelparo, Italy4,555 contributions
Feb 2020
By chance we popped into a second-hand bookshop on Via Nomentana and after chatting to the owner he recommended we visit this church as it was only 4 bus stops away. Not only that, but in his opinion it was one of the best examples of Baroque Roman architecture and decoration; as well as being the home of Bernini's famous sculpture of St. Teresa of Avila. We found the church easily, there were lots of visitors but we managed to capture the details of the various chapels within the church, the stained glass windows and artworks. The variety of coloured marble used in the church is amazing. The highlight is the statue of St. Teresa, it is backlit which gives it an even more splendid glow. When you think this was sculpted out of marble, it makes you wonder how Bernini managed to make the draping of the saint's clothing so realistic. Don't miss the sacristy on the right hand side of the altar. There is no entrance fee, and this is a relief in Rome!
Written 9 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Santa Maria della Vittoria

Santa Maria della Vittoria is open:
  • Sun - Sat 08:30 - 12:00
  • Sun - Sat 15:30 - 18:00
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We recommend booking Santa Maria della Vittoria tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 9 Santa Maria della Vittoria tours on Tripadvisor