Church of Sant’Ignazio

Pietro Pettorelli, from Busseto, who in 1617 founded the college of the Jesuits, arranged to have it enlarged and have a church built, which was finished in 1862.
The façade is coordinated with that of the college, in the Doric order, but tainted by the Baroque taste of the time. It is entirely covered by porticoes and given rhythm by the pilasters, while a cornice horizontally divides the prospectus, which features rectangular windows alternating with pilasters on the first floor. The top of the Church develops on a set-back plane while a circular broken drum acts as its façade.
The interior, in Baroque style, has a single nave with three chapels on each side and was entirely stuccoed and painted by Domenico Dossã and Bernardo Barca.
The frescoes attributed to Giovanni Evangelista Draghi depict the glory of the Saints Ignatius, Luigi Gonzaga, Francis Xavier and Francesco Borgia. By the same artist are six oil paintings on canvas in stucco frames, which loom over the statues of some Jesuit saints, and contain episodes from the life of the Order’s founder: the conversion of S. Ignatius in the castle of Loyola, the holy penitent in Monserrato, his ascetic life at Manresa, his trip to the Holy Land, his apostleship and his miracles.
Four of the side chapels are frescoed in trompe l’oeil, conceivably by Giuseppe Natali, while the wooden altarpieces are by the hand of Vincenzo Biazzi. Among the other paintings, in part preserved in the collegiate church of San Bartolomeo, San Giovanni Francesco de’ Regis by Clemente Ruta, The Arrival of St. Francis Xavier in the Indies by Giovanni Evangelista Draghi.
The altar-piece represents The Glory of St. Ignatius by Pier Ilario Spolverini, copied by Giacinto Brandi and surrounded by a simulated Rococo ancon. The Jesuits were expelled from the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza by Ferdinand of Bourbon, by decree of 3rd February 1768, validated by Pope Clement XIV with a papal bull of 21st July 1773. The college was then used as a hospital and also housed the public schools attended by Giuseppe Verdi.