Located near Piazza Navona, the 15th-century Basilica di Sant’Agostino is home to the Cavalletti Chapel, where visitors flock to view Caravaggio’s Baroque masterpiece, La Madonna di Loreto, along with The Prophet Isaiah by Raphael, La Madonna del Parto statue by Sansovino, and the sumptuous high altar by Bernini.
Although the church is dedicated to Saint Augustine, it’s actually the saint’s mother—Saint Monica—who is entombed there, but the Basilica of St. Augustine's main attraction is by far the rich art inside. You can visit the church by joining a walking tour of Rome's Baroque masterpieces that includes the art in this basilica as well as in other Roman churches by Caravaggio, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Bernini.
Things to Know Before You Go
- When visiting Catholic churches in Rome, you must wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.
- Walking tours require some time on your feet, so choose comfortable shoes.
- The church isn’t wheelchair- or stroller-accessible; there are stairs at the entrance.
- Flash photography is not allowed inside the church.
How to Get There
The Basilica di Sant'Agostino (also known as Sant'Agostino in Campo Marzio) is located on Piazza di Sant'Agostino in the heart of Rome's historic center, just off Piazza Navona.
When to Get There
Rome's most famous churches can be crowded in summer, so visit first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon to be able to enjoy the art in relative peace. The church is usually closed in August.
Sansovino's Miraculous Madonna
It is said that Jacopo Sansovino's La Madonna del Parto was originally a Roman statue of the Empress Agrippina holding her infant son Nero, which Sansovino reworked into a Christian rendering of the Madonna and child centuries later. The statue is said to have miraculous fertility powers, so it is usually surrounded by offerings from women who believe it interceded on their behalf.