Stories of Christian saints and legends fill Val dii Comino, making this a place of pilgrimage from all over the world for nearly 2 millennia and a place of worship even before the arrival of Christianity.
God obviously likes the peace and quiet of this Valley. In Val di Comino, the link between the human and divine seems at its strongest, creating one of those privileged places, able to dispense graces, peace, serenity and a real feeling of well being. The entire Valley is dotted with sacred places. There are churches, convents, monasteries and shrines to be found on almost every corner, however remote.
A pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Canneto, whether by foot past Grotta Campanaro (it takes around 2-3 hours to reach it by foot) or by car past Settefrati, is an essential part of a visit to this ancient land.
The Sanctuary of the Madonna of Canneto is first mentioned in a document in 819. It recounts the legend that the Virgin Mary appeared to a shepherdess in Valle di Canneto. Archaeological evidence proves that this was a site of pagan worship to the goddess Melfa before the birth of Christ and continues to be a site of pilgrimage to this day. During the Feast of the Madonna in August thousands of pilgrims travel on foot from all over this heart of Italy.
The front of the Basilica, dating from the 18th century hides a completely modern and stunning church behind.