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The Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola is a breathtaking masterpiece of Baroque architecture tucked away in the heart of Rome, Italy. Not as widely known as the Roman Pantheon or the Colosseum, this intimate and vibrant jewel box of a church is rich in decoration and known for its impressive trompe-l’oeil frescoes. It also boasts an interesting modern claim to fame as the site of a popular mirror selfie spot.

History

Named after St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order, the church was built between 1626 and 1650. Legendary painter, Andrea Pozzo, covered the ceiling with amazing frescoes which give the illusion of looking up into a heavenly dome. This unique feature was created following a lack of funds to build a real dome, inadvertently giving birth to a great work of visual illusion.

How to Get There

When in Rome, you can either take a pleasant stroll through the city’s historic center to reach the church or use Rome’s efficient public transportation system. If you prefer the latter, take bus number 62, 63, 81, 85, 160 or 492 and drop off at the Corso Rinascimento stop. From there, it’s a quick walk to the Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola.

List of Attractions

  1. The Trompe-l’oeil Ceiling: This spectacular feature is a masterpiece of illusion not to be missed.
  2. The Main Altar: Ornately beautiful, it’s dedicated to Saint Ignatius and houses his statue.
  3. The College Chapel: Home to the remains of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, the chapel is a testament to Baroque art.
  4. The Mirror Selfie Spot: On the right side of the central nave, there’s a round mirror on the floor. Stand in the right spot, aim your camera downwards onto the mirror, and capture a beautifully unique reflection of the ceiling, perfect for a memorable selfie.

Ticket Information

Entrance to the church is free of charge. However, donations to the maintenance of the church are highly appreciated.

List of Tips for Visiting

  1. Timing: The church is open daily from 7:30 AM – 12:30 PM and then from 3:00 PM – 7:30 PM.
  2. Photography: The church allows photography, so make sure to bring your camera to capture the beautiful frescoes.
  3. Selfie Etiquette: While taking your mirror selfie, remember to be respectful and mindful of others visiting the church.
  4. Dress Code: As with most religious sites, modest clothing is advisable.
  5. Guided Tours: To truly appreciate the history and artistry of the church, a guided tour could be worth considering.

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