Madonna della Corona is a beautiful sanctuary carved into the rock at 774 m a.s.l., overlooking the Adige Valley. It is located in Spiazzi, a picturesque hamlet of Caprino Veronese (VR).
It is open all year round with the following times:
November – March: from 8:00 to 18:00
April – October: from 7:00 to 19:30
Madonna della Corona: historical notes.
Medieval documents attest that already around the year 1000 in the Baldo area lived some hermits linked to the Abbey of San Zeno in Verona and that at least from the second half of 1200 there was a monastery and a chapel dedicated to S. Maria di Montebaldo accessible through a narrow and dangerous path in the rock. A tradition placed the birth of the Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona in 1522, the year in which the homonymous sculpture venerated here was miraculously transferred by angelic intervention from the island of Rhodes, invaded by the Muslim army of Suleiman II; but the dating is denied by the existence, in the recesses of the current Sanctuary, of a 14th-century painting of a Madonna with child, which was the first image venerated in the original church, which took its name from it. For further information click here.
How to get to the Madonna della Corona Sanctuary.
By car. If you are coming from the west, take the A4 Milan-Venice motorway, exit at Peschiera del Garda and then continue towards Spiazzi for 38 kilometers. If you are coming from the south, north or east, you have to take the A22 Brennero-Modena motorway, exit at Affi and continue towards Spiazzi for 20 kilometers
Once in Spiazzi (864 m) you will find an asphalted parking lot in the center and a dirt road just above. The short walk downhill (about 15 minutes) to reach the sanctuary starts from the town center. Otherwise, from spring to autumn there is also a bus / shuttle service (with disabled access) that takes you to the entrance to the tunnel leading to the Sanctuary. To consult the timetables click here.
On the train. You must arrive at the stations of Peschiera del Garda or Verona-Porta Nuova and continue by bus, Caprino-Spiazzi line.
How to get to the Sanctuary by trekking.
It starts from Brentino Belluno (VR). Just park your car in the town center and follow the signs for the Pilgrims’ Path (otherwise known as the Path of Hope). It starts with a beautiful staircase which, within a few tens of meters, already leads into the woods. From here, there will be more than 1,500 steps, alternating with stretches of uphill path, to keep the quadriceps in shape. In some places there is an iron handrail that allows you to cling on rainy days (or ice and snow as in my case). The higher the path, the more panoramic it becomes, offering numerous views of the Adige Valley and the surrounding mountains. The last section is a very bold, zigzag staircase, carved directly into the rock on the vertical wall of Mount Cimo. You go up to meet various stations of the Via Crucis: joyful mysteries, mysteries of light, painful mysteries, glorious mysteries; and finally 7 capitals (representing the Seven Sorrows of Mary) lead up to the last stairway at the foot of the church.
Path length there and back: 5 km – height difference uphill: 600 m.
Any description is useless, before you the splendid fusion of nature and architecture (which do not rhyme by chance).
On site there is also a bar / restaurant (in addition to all those found in the village of Spiazzi) and a well-stocked souvenir shop. For a moment I remembered my visit to the splendid church of Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo. It was a bazaar of the most disparate objects; I still remember a figurine of the Egyptian cat, pens with ostrich feathers and a series of atrocious trinkets that diminished the beauty of the place and its sanctity. For me, the medals and booklets that are inside the Sanctuary and for which the required coins are put in the special offertory would be enough. They speak widely for us to those who make a gift of them: “I went up here with my own strength and I thought about your good”.
This place taught me that anyone can get to the top. One step after the other, each with its own rhythm. You don’t need to be bold, trained young people; along the way I met people of the most disparate ages, more or less equipped for trekking and all aware that the only weight was the backpack on their shoulders. The burdens of the heart were already on top, ready to fly away. In the woods there is only room for kind gestures, to share the bottle, to share the effort with a smile and for healthy silence.
See you next time dear Outdoors!
Silvia Turazza – Garda Outdoors editorial staff.