The church of Santa Maria Assunta, known as I Gesuiti was built in 1715-1728 by Jesuits. Saint Ignatius of Loyola visited the city of Venice for the first time in 1523 to embark on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He returned to I Gesuiti in 1535 with a group of friends, who already called themselves the Society of Jesus (members of which are referred to as Jesuits - Gesuiti in Italian), and here they were ordained as priests.
The layout of the church is typical of Jesuit churches, in the form of a Latin cross with three chapels in the longest wing. The transept and chancel are alongside two other chapels. The six chapels on the sides of the nave are separated by small rooms which were probably once used for confession. Between the second and third chapels stands the remarkable pulpit created by Francesco Bonazza and along the entire corridor there are 'corretti', grates that visitors to the convent could look through.
The nave of the church pales in comparison to the altar, which is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, due to the presence of four pillars which support the cross vault. These pillars were decorated with green and white marble between 1725 and 1731.
The ceiling is adorned with frescoes. In the chancel, Angel musicians in Glory (1720), and on the vaulted ceiling The Triumph of the Name of Jesus (1732), were painted by Ludovico Dorigny. On the ceiling of the nave, Abraham and Three Angels and Vision of St John Evangelist were painted by Francesco Fontebasso in 1734. The chancel is decorated with statues of cherubs, little angels, angels and archangels by Giuseppe Torretti.
The campanile is almost entirely the original that was erected for the church of the Betlemitani, the only addition is the belfry from the eighteenth century.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.