The Madonna's Sanctuary of Mount Berico is located on the top of a hill, a few kilometers away from the historic center of Vicenza. It represents the northernmost part of the complex complex of the famous Berici Hills, a natural group of hilly reliefs.

Madonna's Sanctuary of Mount Berico

The main place of worship and pilgrimage of the city of Vicenza rises solemnly between these ends, the Madonna's Sanctuary of Mount Berico. This extraordinary building is the result of the integration of a fifteenth-century Gothic-style church and a seventeenth-century Baroque basilica.

Madonna's Sanctuary of Mount Berico

The story goes that, during a period of serious plague epidemic, an elderly woman, who came here every day to bring food to her husband, who worked on the hill, saw the Madonna appear twice and told that the Virgin had commissioned her to order the construction of the Vicentines, precisely in that place of a church, since only in this way would they be freed from the plague.
The elderly lady, not listened to after the first apparition, managed to convince her fellow citizens after the second that, subsequently in 1428, in just three months they managed to build a late Gothic church and a small monastery dedicated to the religious community that hosted the pilgrims.

Madonna's Sanctuary of Mount Berico

In fact, as the chronicles of the time also report, after the construction of that modest building, the spread of the plague ceased. In those years the church was governed by the friars Santa Brigida, but after a short period they left, the reason is still not so clear, leaving the building to the Servants of Mary, who still guard the sanctuary.

Over time, the Servites completed the convent, building the cloister, the guesthouse, the infirmary and the bell tower, all of which is considered a great undertaking, as the surrounding land was all steep. A municipal resolution also testified to the particularly dense cult of devotion of the people of Vicenza, which in 1529 made the procession of 25 August regular and more solemn.

Madonna's Sanctuary of Mount Berico

Over the centuries the sanctuary undergoes numerous interventions, from Lorenzo da Bologna who totally expands the church, towards 1579 Andrea Palladio operated another extension, of which there is no trace left because it was demolished in 1687 for the construction of a baroque church designed by Carlo Borella.

In 1825 a new bell tower was built on the design of Antonia Piovene, this intervention caused the devastation of the choir, that is the terminal part of the church. Finally in 1860 the facade was rebuilt by Giovanni Miglioranza.


Today it is characterized by three symmetrical baroque facades, decorated with 42 statues of saints and three bas-reliefs above the portals, all works by Orazio Marinali and, by a fourth facade, where the primitive Gothic oratory of 1428 is resting.

Madonna's Sanctuary of Mount Berico

In its interior we can admire valuable works, above the altar we find La Pietà painted by Bartolomeo Montagna of 1505, in the hall of time we can admire Paolo Veronese's dinner of 1572 and in the same room The Virgin among the four evangelists paintings by Alessandro Maganza of 1580.

In the Altar Greater we find the most venerated image of the Madonna, which protects the humanity that resorts to her under her mantle, it is a statue carved in marble in 1430 by Nicolò da Venezia.

The city of Vicenza leads to the Madonna's Sanctuary of Mount Berico through a portico formed by 140 arches, built in the mid-18th century, each time representing the grains of the Old Rosary, and every ten arches, we find a chapel in which the individual Mysteries of the Rosary.

Always celebrated by the Servants of Mary, this route has always been an interrupted destination for pilgrimages from all over the Triveneto area and from other Italian regions. In front of the sanctuary stands Vittoria Square with a large balcony overlooking the entire historic center of Vicenza and the surrounding hills.


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