Santuario Madonna di Valle (or della Madonnina)

The building develops a little after Piazza la Mandolera on the edge of the town of Vernante along the road that leads to Valle Grande.

Typology Building

Period 1380 – 1600

Accessibility Yes

Visitable Yes

Chapel of N.S. Della Valle was already built in the 15th century to give thanks for having escaped from the plague. A devotion that had renewed vigour in the following two centuries, so much so that it helped in the structure to create the Sanctuary that we see today. It is from here that the traditional procession of August 14 starts, whose evening is celebrated with fireworks and bonfires on the slopes of the mountains behind.

The origin of the sanctuary dates back to the fifteenth century and is the result of a votive offering made by the Vernante people on the occasion of a serious collective danger (perhaps an epidemic of plague), a tradition that is also linked to the festival of the Assumption. The first attestations referring to a building named to the Madonna di Valle date back to the mid-sixteenth century, when the municipal statutes mention a chapel with this name. From the sixteenth century the devotion reserved to this place grew progressively until it became necessary, or more probably desirable, to enlarge the chapel and construct to a real sanctuary.

The current structure of the sanctuary with a central plan and a Greek cross, with 3 altars, embellished with Baroque stucco decorations, stone mosaic floor, walls built with hot lime, dates back to the work carried out on the basis of the project by Giovenale Boetto in the second half of the seventeenth century. In the sanctuary are still visible, in the two side chapels and in the back wall of the main altar, the Venetian windows with stucco decorations that refer to other realizations by Boetto.

The exterior of the building is characterized by a large Baroque aedicule that anticipates the entrance offering shelter to the pilgrims. Inside, the building has some valuable elements, above all the artistic throne of the Virgin dating back to the end of the seventeenth century, an example of a splendid Piedmontese Baroque. The statue of the Virgin, covered with a rich hand-woven silver mantle, is made of wood, has a total weight of over 640 kg and was carried on shoulders from Turin, in about 40 days of travel. Finally, it is worth noting the numerous “ex voto” paintings in honour of the Virgin for the graces received by pilgrims over the centuries.

Conditions of visit

The sanctuary is at 200 m from the SP20, along the provincial road that leads to Valle Grande.
It is possible to leave the car along the road, or within a radius of 200 m there is the convenient car park of Piazza Vermenagna.
The building is open daily, it is in a good state of condition.


Additional information


  • Andrea Levico, Vermenagna e Roya. Le valli delle meraviglie, Primalpe, TipoLitoEuropa, Cuneo, 2007, pp. 112.
  • AA.VV., Vernante il paese di Pinocchio. Le avventure di pinocchio raccontate sui muri delle case di Vernante, Edizioni Martini, Cuneo 1995, pp. 74.
  • AA. VV., Luoghi e gente di Vernante “dal 1900 ai nostri giorni”, Stampa Tipolito Martini, Borgo San Dalmazzo 2008, p. 6.