Not far from Piazza Navona in the historic heart of Rome is the 15th-century Basilica di Sant’Agostino, best known as the home of the Caravaggio masterpiece “Madonna di Loreto.” The church's travertine marble facade was taken from the (then unused) Colosseum, but the main attraction is inside the basilica in the Cavalletti Chapel. There, visitors flock to see the Caravaggio painting. Other artwork inside the church includes a fresco of the Prophet Isaiah by Raphael, a statue of the Madonna and Child by Sansovino, and the high altar by Bernini. Legend says that the Sansovino statue of the Madonna and Child was originally a statue of Agrippina holding Nero, her infant son, and was transformed into its current form by Sansovino.
Though the church is dedicated to Saint Augustine, it’s actually the saint’s mother—Saint Monica—who is entombed inside. Take a guided tour of Rome's churches by Segway to visit the basilica and other churches such as St Peter's and Santa Maria della Pace.
The basilica is open from 7:45am to 12pm and from 4pm to 8pm every day, except during the month of August, when it remains closed. There is also weekend mass, and during the months of May and October, there is rosary reciting at 5pm.
Did you know? Sansovino’s statue is said to work childbirth miracles, so look for a number of offerings around it from worshipers who believe she intervened on their behalf.