Sanctuary of Vicoforte

When our structural engineer had to reschedule our appointment at Villa Bracchi, we decided to take advantage of the moment and visit someplace we had not yet explored in the region.  We had heard that the Sanctuary in Vicoforte was a sight to behold so we headed out on the 40 minute drive.  Spring has arrived and wildflowers are sprouting up everywhere.  Fruit trees are blossoming with tiny white and pink buds. The entire region looks like an advertisement for Springtime (or an allergy medication).  We passed through the towns of Murazzano and Marsaglia

When you arrive in Vicoforte, you cannot miss the Basilica.  Construction began in 1596 and the work was not completed until 1733.  The ceiling is a gorgeous fresco of angels and light, appearing three dimensional in some areas. The entire pictorial surface area covers 6,032 square meters and is the biggest of this type in existence, representing “La Modonna” throughout her life. 

Once you tear yourself away from gazing at the ceiling (or the crink in your neck becomes too much to bear), you can climb to the top tower and enjoy 360 degree views of the area.  We weren’t able to do this, as the tower doesn’t open for the season until May 1, but on a clear day, I imagine the views would be spectacular. 

We left the Basilica and promenaded along the square.  Various shops and gelaterias are housed in the arched arcade across from the Basilica. 

I noticed a lovely little playground as well as several picnic tables in the garden surrounding the Basilica, beckoning for me to return with the kids one day.  This would certainly be a lovely family picnic and sightseeing stop.

All Photographs copyright 2015, Clay McLachlan.  View a portfolio of work at