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Church, Rock church, and Sanctuary

The Madonna della Palomba is a sanctuary built in 1580 at the request of Monsignor Saraceno following numerous miracles performed by the sacred image of the Virgin Hodegetria, dating from the 13th century, portrayed in a fresco in the adjacent rock church. The church was built against the cave and a sacred image of the Virgin, rendered as an icon, was framed at the centre of a Renaissance-era dossal.

Its delicate and rustically beautiful interior shows the frescoes of the Assumption, of a Crucifixion, of St. Blaise and of the Apostles, within medallions. There are also polychrome stone statues of St. Barbara, a Madonna and Child, St. Lucy, St. Raymond of Penyafort, St. Eligius and St. Gregory the Great, with a papal tiara on his head and a dove placed on his shoulder, from the workshop of Altobello Persio. The presbytery leads to another church dug out of the rock, with altars and frescoes from the 17th and 18th centuries, and finally, to the dining hall for pilgrims who came in large numbers to pay homage to the icon on the feast of the Nativity of Mary.


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