Our Lady of the Ash Tree

Route details Recommended period Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter Phone+39 045 7550500

Useful advice Travelling on foot

The history of this Shrine started in 1510 and it is related to the apparition of the Virgin Mary to the farmer Bartolomeo Broglia. The story goes that while working in the fields, this poor man was attacked by a serpent; to save himself he invoked the Virgin Mary to protect him. Bartolomeo looked toward the sky and saw a small statue of the Virgin wrapped in light, standing on the trunk of an ash tree. His heart filled with gratitude and he brought the statue home, but miraculously it disappeared only to return to the branches of the tree where it had first appeared.

This happened many times and on 10 September 1510, in that exact same place, the first stone was laid for the small chapel that would thereafter protect and honor the sacred image. The present-day Church was built in the Renaissance style in 1514 and the minor Franciscan Friars were its caretakers for three centuries. Throughout various political transformations, wars and devastations, the complex underwent a long phase of deterioration that ended only in 1898 upon the return of the Franciscan Friars.

Today the Church of the Madonna del Frassino appears as an architectural structure with one nave with 10 lateral chapels. It also contains precious canvases, frescoes and elegant stucco decorations in the Baroque style. The "heart" of the shrine is obviously the Cappella della Madonna where the terra-cotta statue is kept, standing on a piece of wood from the tree where the apparition occurred. Adjacent to the shrine is a monastery, with two cloisters, where the Franciscan Friars still reside.

The "heart" of the Sanctuary is obviously the Chapel of the Madonna, home to the terracotta statuette, resting on a piece of the ash tree of the apparition. The Sanctuary is attached to a convent, with two cloisters, still home to Franciscan monks.