Basilica di Sant’Agostino

Centro Storico

The plain white facade of this early Renaissance church, built in the 15th century and renovated in the late 1700s, gives no indication of the impressive art inside. The most famous work is Caravaggio's Madonna dei Pellegrini (Madonna of the Pilgrims; 1604-06), in the first chapel on the left, but you'll also find Raphael's muscular Profeta Isaia (Prophet Isaiah, 1512) and a much-venerated sculpture by Jacopo Sansovino.

The Madonna del Parto (Madonna of Childbirth), Sansovino's 1521 statue of the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus, is a favourite with expectant mums who traditionally pray to it for a safe pregnancy. The Madonna also stars in Caravaggio’s Madonna dei Pellegrini, which caused uproar when it was unveiled in 1604 due to its depiction of Mary's two devoted pilgrims as filthy, badly dressed beggars.

Painting almost a century before, Raphael provoked no such scandal with his fresco of Isaiah, visible on the third pillar on the left side of the nave. Underneath the fresco is a charming marble group featuring Virgin, Child and St Anne (1512) by Andrea Sansovino.

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