The Sant’Agostino Church in Volterra
with its impressive restoring process
The construction of the church of S. Agostino and its convent started when the Augustinians arrived in procession to the city, bringing the relics of the “SS. Spine”, still kept in the church today.
The Augustinians left Volterra in 1785 after the publication of a law issued by Granduke Pietro Leopoldo. Despite this, a small Augustinian delegation stayed in the city, and the last prior of the convent, Guglielmo Casperetti, kept his office from 1804 to 1807.
Sources state that the church and the convent with the attached garden were there before 1349, when Filippo Belforti, following Ottaviano Strenna’s will, built the Santi Giacomo e Giovanni hospital.
The church, when it was built in the 13th century, only had one nave and a trussed roof. In the 17th and 18th century, after the restoration of the Dome, all of Volterra’s churches went through a more or less drastic restoration period. In the Sant’Agostino Church, this led to a restructuring of the whole internal floor plan and the decorations. Through this, the 13th-century one-nave church turned into a three-nave with low vaulted ceilings church. The decorations now follow a late-Baroque style, whereas the general installation is still in a neo-1500s style.
The Museum of Sacred Art is located inside the Church of Sant’Agostino.