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Sanctuary of Caravaggio

The white façade of the sanctuary of the Madonna di Caravaggio rises solitarily on the summit of Mount Orsena (also known as Caravaggio) in the hamlet of Santa Maria del Campo at 615 metres. a.s.l. Given its position at the meeting of three ridges, it can also be reached on pleasant walks from Ruta di Camogli and the Uscio valley.

The place where the present sanctuary stands today was the destination of an annual procession of the inhabitants of Santa Maria del Campo, and in the mid 17th century, the first chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary was built there, in which a small painting of the Madonna donated by the inhabitants was placed. In 1727, the chapel was enlarged, also thanks to the contribution of emigrants, and the devotion of the inhabitants of the hamlet increased. However, the sanctuary was closed by the Curia in 1742, possibly due to the prevalence of the Sanctuary of Montallegro. The building thus fell into a state of neglect and was demolished in 1790 by order of the doge of the Republic of Genoa. In 1838, the parish of Santa Maria del Campo, no longer subject to the Rapallo mother church, decided to rebuild a new sanctuary, which survived the air raids of World War II, but suffered heavy vandalism damage several times, until it was recently rebuilt in its present form.

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