In the first half of the sixteen century the town of Bovolone (in the province of Verona) became an important pilgrimage destination as a result of the strong popular devotion to a marble statue of the Madonna and Jesus child on a throne (both wearing a belted tunic thus giving this name to the Shrine).
According to historical chronicles, there were so many votes, offerings and votive panels donated to the Virgin that it was decided to build a church, completed in 1650 and known from then on as the Shrine of the Madonna of the Belt.
The church is built in a simple style with a single nave. Above the tabernacle there hangs an image of the Virgin with the belt. Inside the church there are several interesting paintings hanging on the lateral walls: a "Christ presented to the people" and "The Adoration of the Kings".
Two other beautiful canvases show the martyr saints Jovita and Faustinus. The artefacts in red marble which date back to the seventeenth century are also highly valued: these are the small cherub wall shelves flanking the presbytery, the shell shaped stoup in the middle of the right-hand wall of the nave and the great round pillar to the right of the entrance. Unfortunately, however, the Napoleonic lootings in 1796 left little or nothing remaining of the original liturgical furnishings and fixtures.
Between the sacred and the profaneIn Bovolone at the beginning of February, there is the Festival of San Biagio, the patron saint of the town. An agricultural event that is more than 700 years old and that involves the entire town.