A remote sanctuary in Genga

Mostly known for the Frasassi Caves, Genga has much to give in terms of stunning views andthe Temple of Valadier surely offers one of those. Situated in a cave on the top of a mountain, it was designed by the architect Valadier. Pope Leone XII, who was born in Genga, ordered its construction at the beginning of the xix century, and it was completed by 1828, but this cave has always served as a shelter for the local population, especially during invasions.

How to get there? It is very easy to arrive at the temple, being it near the railway station. If you travel by train, you will have to get off at the Genga station, and from the parking in front of the station a bus will take you to the entrance of Frasassi Caves; from there you have to walk one kilometre, untill you reach a small parking situated on the right side of the roadway. If you travel by car, you will have to reach the same small parking: you must leave the highway at the exit of Genga and then cross the hamlet of Camponocecchio until you reach a crossroad; there you turn right toward Frasassi Caves. Just follow this road for 2/3 kilometers and you will find the parking on your right. From there you must go on by foot: this is the start of the path that will take you to the Temple within 30 minutes; it’s not very long, about 800 meters, but it has some steep climbs. However, overall, everyone can do that, also little children.

Inside the temple: the style of the temple is neoclassical, and inside it has a beautiful travertine altar on which was originally collocated a statue by Canova, depicting the Virgin with the Child, which has now been moved and is preserved in the Museum of Sacred Arts of Genga. Also, there are many benches to sit and say a little payer.

The altar with the copy of the statue by Canova

Hermitage of Santa Maria infra Saxais a small building on the right of the temple. It existed yet in 1029, when it was mentioned in a document. During the years it served as a cloistered monastery and oratory. It was also used as a shelter for pilgrims, refugees and repetant sinners. It is almost entirely built on live rock and therefore we can consider it a unique place

Small altar inside the hermitage of Santa Maria infra Saxa.

Advice: our advice is to bring with you a k-way or something to dress up even during summer, because it can be cool and windy when you reach the cave. If you want to refresh a little after the walk, you can enjoy a little stop by the rive Esino, just descending one of the many paths on the other side of the roadway.
Here you find the complete gallery, see you soon in Marche!

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