Step into the cave and touch the hot water spring that is said to have healed a wounded soldier who saw the Virgin Mary.
Built in the 15th century, the Madonna della Salute Monteortone is a beacon of religious devotion. It stands above a cave with a thermal spring that was the site of a religious miracle. Explore the threes naves that make up the opulent interior of this historic sanctuary.
Arrive and gaze up at the Gothic bell tower rising above the white stone façade, which features an imposing rose window and elegant door. The impressive church has a scenic backdrop of hilly woodland.
Within the church are several important works of art, including the 15th-century painting of Madonna with Child by Jacopo Parisati di Montagnana and the same artist’s fresco on the apse. Pass behind the 17th-century altar made from polychrome marble and appreciate the religious works along the aisles and side chapels.
Learn about the fascinating legends swirling around the church. It is said that 15th-century soldier Pietro Falco saw the Virgin Mary on this spot. The thermal water healed his battle wounds, while other miracles were attributed to this religious apparition, leading to the construction of the sanctuary. Imagine the monks guarding the spring and a sacred image of the Virgin during medieval times.
Beside the sanctuary is the cave where Falco was healed. Descend the ladder into the historic grotto containing the famous spring of healing waters.
Note that while the church was closed in the 19th century by Napoleonic decree, several works of art were stolen. It reopened in the 1900s, before being used as a nursing home and spa hotel.
Find the Madonna della Salute Monteortone near its namesake hill in the heart of the town. Ride a bus to one of the stops marking the adjacent road. Make sure to see some of the other surrounding sights, such as the Sagra del Sorriso, Parco San Daniele and Parco Montirone.