On August 29, 1471 Pope Sixtus IV approved the foundation of the Brotherhood of Lombardi , very numerous in Rome , and gave them as the seat of the Church of St. Nicholas (or Niccolò) Toffo de Campo Marzio . This ancient church , mentioned in the papal documents of the tenth century, it was renamed after St. Ambrose which was added to the canonization of St. Charles after Charles Borromeo in 1610 , and was home by the Brotherhood (which later became Confraternity of Saint Ambrose and Carlo Country of Lombard ) until the construction of the present church , on the same place as the previous one , which was demolished .
The present church was originally designed by Honorius Longhi thanks to a donation by the Milanese Luigi Cardinal Alessandro Omodeis . The novelty of the project was the choice for the presbytery , a large ambulatory behind the high altar, deliberately inspired by the architecture of the cathedral of Milan.
The yard continued at a slow pace due to lack of funds , to report the brief involvement of Borromini and the more continuous , Martino Longhi the Younger, who did not made a design for a concave façade sandwiched between two towers punctuated by a crowd of cylindrical columns travertine .
Since 1906 , the care of the church is entrusted to priests of the Institute of Charity.
In this church were ordained bishops Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, March 19, 1925 , and Clemente Riva , June 22, 1975 . Riva in 1966 he was Rector.
The church has become a minor basilica with short Lombardi in Urbe of Pope Pius XI 21 December 1929.