Nestled atop a steep cliff in the Veneto region of Italy, the Madonna della Corona sanctuary is a hidden gem. Built into a vertical cliff face on Italy’s Mount Baldo in front of Valdadige it looks as though it is nearly suspended in mid-air.
The sanctuary has a long and fascinating history dating back to the 16th century. According to legend, a shepherd boy found a painting of the Virgin Mary in a nearby cave and brought it to the local priest. The painting was then placed in a small chapel built on the site, and the Madonna della Corona became a popular destination for pilgrims. Over the centuries, the sanctuary was expanded and renovated, with the current church and monastery built in the 20th century.
The Madonna della Corona’s unique location on a cliff has made it a challenging site to build and maintain. The church and monastery were designed by the architect Alberto Luzzo, who created a modernist structure that blends seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. The sanctuary’s most striking feature is its stunning glass facade, which offers panoramic views of the mountains and valleys below. Inside, visitors can admire the intricate wood carvings, frescoes, and sculptures that adorn the walls and altars.
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.