San Siro, originally the "Church of the Apostles" and the cathedral of Genoa, was rebuilt by the Benedictines in the 11th century, and restored and enlarged by the Theatines in 1576, the facade being added in 1830; in this church in 1339 Simone Boccanera was elected first doge of Genoa.
The establishment of new religious orders - Theatines, Somascians, Barnabites and Capuchins - had sown the seeds of a new life in the ancient Church.
Not only so, but, when greater strictness of rule and of enclosure seemed the most needful reforms in communities that had become too secular in tone, the proposal of Ignatius, to make it a first principle that the members of his institute should mix freely in the world and be as little marked off as possible externally from secular clerical life and usages, ran counter to all tradition and prejudice, save that Cara.ffa's then recent order of Theatines, which had some analogy with the proposed Society, had taken some steps in the same direction.
The order of the Theatines, founded in 1524, takes its name from the city.
Adjacent is the church of the Theatines, an imposing though somewhat over-ornamented example of the Italian Rococo style; it contains the royal burial vault.