It was founded in 1346, as the church of the Servite Community of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was designed by Andrea da Faenza, a head friar and architect who also assisted Antonio di Vincenzo on the monumental Basilica of San Petronio. In the 20th century, Pope Pius XII granted the church the status of "basilica".
The basilica is 100 metres long by 20 metres wide. It has the form of a Latin cross but the transepts do not project beyond the aisles. The shallow apse is five segments of an octagon, as is common in Italian Gothic churches.
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