In 1481 Bendinelli Sauli devoted a part of his fortune to the construction of a church, binding the capital with the system of compound interest, in order to reach the necessary amount to finish the church. After the expected time passed, in 1549 his heirs entered into a contract with Galeazzo Alessi for the design and management of the new building.
The foundation stone was laid in 1552 and the works lasted for half a century (the dome with the lantern was completed in 1602), first under the direction of the designer and the support of the local manufacturing that will complete later the building following Alessi's models.
The Greek cross plan inscribed in a square, the upper part with four bell towers – actually only two of them in the front were built - the central dome and four smaller domes resumed deliberately and symbolically the Bramante project of the basilica of San Pietro updated by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger.
This ambitious reference repeated over time, infact after Gian Lorenzo Bernini intervened in the Roman church, abundant statues were placed in the niches of the four central pillars. Two statues were built by Pierre Puget, who was requested to design also a monumental canopy such as the one by Bernini built in San Pietro.
Compared to the Rubensian image, on the facade it has been placed, since 1722, the portal with the statue of the Assumption and the statues in the niches, created by the Burgundian sculptor Claude David.