Madonna della Sassella

Situated on the Rhaetian slope outside Sondrio, the sanctuary of the Madonna della Sassella, perched on a rocky crag, can be reached by a panoramic trek through terraced vineyards.

The building dates back to the sixteenth century and consists of a church with a single nave, with an exterior portico and bell tower that were added in the ninth decade of the 18th century. Above the main entrance portal there is an admirable lunette in white marble depicting the Nativity, and inside there are excellent frescoes attributed to Andrea de Passeris (1511), among them the cycle around the apse depicting the Virgin Mary and Christ the benedictor within a rounded lozenge, and the Evangelists and a cycle of Prophets and Sibyls, as well as scenes from the life of the Virgin, in a band underneath it.

Light reaches the apse through a multicolored stained glass window depicting the “Adoration of Christ the Child” (1520), by Domenico Cazzanòre da Blevio or an artist of his studio. On the outside wall along the ancient path is a gigantic Saint Christopher, patron saint of travelers.

The piazza in front of the church, supported by sturdy arcades, is called the “terrace of the Valtellina” by the locals and was intended to serve as a deposit for the goods traded in the market. Strolling through the vineyards and country homes, one can find incisions of human figures in the rocks, made in prehistoric times.

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Località Sassella - Sondrio
Not to be missed

A walk along the ancient via Valeriana from the city center to the Church

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