Idea Tourism Magazine


Vicoforte: its Sanctuary has the largest elliptical dome in the world

Vicoforte is an ancient hilly village which counts about 3.200 inhabitants and it is 7 km far from Mondovì. It includes many suggestive boroughs among those there are Costa, poggia, Gariboggio and Fiamenga.

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Vicoforte is a town in the province of Cuneo known for its majestic sanctuary.


What to see

In addition to the historical centre you can visit: the parish church of San Giovanni and Donato, which represents the Romanic and Gothic styles and which conserves many works of art realised by local artists. It is located not so far from the sanctuary, o the hill where anciently arose the castle of Vicoforte; the massive Sanctuary of Vicoforte is circled by the Palazzata, which is a belt of palaces built around the square, rounded by arches and arcades. Nearby Vicoforte there is Fiamenga, here starts the panoramic path towards Mondovì, in the past it was used by the pilgrims and it is very characteristic because it is full of chapels.

In Vicoforte there are also two springs of thermal waters: a magnesia and a sulfur that, discovered in 1853 and recognized as effective as medicines, gave rise to the construction of the spa.

The Sanctuary

The Regina Montis Regalis Sanctuary has always been an important destination for pilgrims who came here to tribute the image of the Madonna with the child. It arises in a little valley at the feet of Vicoforte. It is a nice architectonical jewels thanks to its elliptical dome, which is the biggest in the world and dates to the end of 1500. The tradition tells that a hunter shot accidentally a votive pillar with the fresco of the Virgin. The shot caused the damage on the body of the Virgin, from which it seems gushed out some blood drops. The hunter saved money to restore the pillar and his initiative involved also Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy, who, in 1596 ordered a massive project, ended in 1733.The elliptical dome is 74 metres high, with a diameter of 25 and 36 metres and more than six thousand square metres of frescoes. In 1884 to the sanctuary were added the three current façades and the bell towers. Already in 1592 there was the necessity to provide the area with water. In 1597 Caterina D’Aragona, wife of Carlo Emanuele I, asked to build a second fountain for pilgrims. On 25th August 1755 was established a relocation of the fountains, which corresponds to the current aspect of the square, which has been restored in 2017.

What’s on

  • Fiera del Santuario said Fera ‘dla Madona:  8th September
  • Florete Flores: June

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