THE SANTUARY OF THE MADONNA DELLA CORONA

In the varied environment of the Veneto region, where the mountains seem to gather together to form a crown, the tourist and pilgrim can experience the profound sorrow of the Virgin.

The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Corona perches among the rocks, set in the rocky wall on the eastern slopes of Monte Baldo, at an altitude of more than 700 metres, high up above the Adige valley. The name “della Corona” (of the Crown), used to describe one of the most famous and popular religious sites in Italy, derives from the surrounding chains of mountains which appear to form a crown.
History and legend interweave in the tale of its origins. In the 13th century there was a hermitage dedicated to the Madonna with the title of “Mother of God” at the site. In 1437 this was transferred to the Order of the Knights of Malta and from 1480 to 1522 a small church was constructed in the same place as the hermitage. According to the legend, a stone statue depicting the Pietà disappeared from Rhodes on the arrival of the Turks in 1522 and reappeared miraculously one night in Spiazzi (today it is a small mountain village situated at an altitude of 1314 metres, around 10 kilometres from the town of Ferrara di Monte Baldo). The mountain dwellers, struck by the intense light and music accompanying the apparition, went to the site and with the help of ropes took the statue to the top of a cliff, where there was a wooden chapel. However, the following night the statue returned to the place where it had appeared for the first time. To respect the clear will of the Madonna, the village people began construction of the chapel at the rock face.
The Sanctuary is carved entirely out of the rock: inside the church the left wall and the apse, for example, are made up of the rock face itself. The marble statue of the Madonna venerated by pilgrims, around 70 centimetres high, represents Our Lady of Sorrows holding up and contemplating the dead body of Christ.
The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Corona is also a destination for trekking enthusiasts. A path known as the "pilgrims\' path" makes its way up to the sanctuary along the ridge of Monte Cimo via a stairway with no less than 1540 steps from the underlying town of Brentino in the Val d’Adige.  The sanctuary is an ideal destination for those wishing to reconcile spiritual wellbeing, nature and sport.