This church was featured in 'Angels and Demons' when a Cardinal was fried. It has peculiar opening hours but mornings and late afternoons it seems generally open.
Ignore the beggars at the door they represent nothing other than themselves and if you give them money you are encouraging them to persist.
How can one describe this church? Words are difficult but if you are a northern Protestant you had better try to keep a straight face.
It is a camp orgy of pink bottomed cherubs and slightly leering angels in high stucco relief, flying upwards toward the heavens. Overdecorated to within an inch of its life, it is quite simply the campest church in Rome, and that's saying a lot.
In a side chapel, on the left hand side nearest the high altar, Bernini is up to his usual tricks. His 'St. Teresa in ecstasy' floats above fluffy clouds with an expression a gentleman should not try to describe. A cherub is trying to pierce her heart with a golden arrow. The cherub also has an expression best not described. The whole is lit by golden light from a hidden source. It is simply stunning. A virtuoso sculptural work which has always divided opinion. The best thing is not to listen to anybody else but to make your own mind up.
At the back of the church - down a corridor on the right hand side, there is a pharmacy run by the monks who manage the church. They sell pills for everything.Heart, liver, in fact anything which might ail you. Mine have not had an effect yet but I am hoping. The one thing they do not sell is a pill which might get you the kind of expression that St Teresa has. Very disappointing!
For the joy of experiencing the sheer theatricality of Baroque Rome, this church is a must.
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