Wonder  }  Village

Crissolo, San Chiaffredo and the "batiaje"

On the roof of the Po Valley

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Where is


12030 Crissolo CN, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

Asmall mountain village in the province of Cuneo, Crissolo is a pearl set in the marvelous panorama of Monviso. It is the highest municipality in the Po Valley, and perhaps it is precisely this proximity to the sky, combined with immersion in the serenity of nature, that has kept the spirituality of its inhabitants strong. Indeed, one of Crissolo's best-known features is its shrine, dedicated to St. Chiaffredo, so dear to the locals, who entrust their sorrows and joys to the saint, and to the wayfarers who pass through here in search of the source of the Po.

Why it is special

The shrine of St. Chiaffredo is located just outside the village, almost marking the boundary between the village and the mountains. The neo-Gothic facade and white stone bell tower tower over the nearby houses, and invite anyone in need of comfort to enter the simple, cozy setting to leave their plea for help or their thanks for grace received. The votive offer ings collected here bear witness to the popular devotion to the saint whose remains were reportedly found here, so much so that the shrine is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in the area.

Not to be missed

The shrine is certainly the most concrete symbol of Crissolo's religiosity, but there is another one that is very well known and appreciated: a round cookie made with cornmeal known as "batiaje." What does a cookie have to do with spirituality? It is told by the very name of this treat: "batiaje," which in Piedmontese dialect also means the celebration of baptism, an occasion on which the cookies were originally made. Appreciated in history even by the royalty of Savoy, these sweets originated in the nearby village of Barge.

A bit of history

The sanctuary of San Chiaffredo was built starting in 1440 on the remains of an old small church. A place of strong inspiration embellished by the legend linked to the saint: tradition has it that Chiaffredo, a soldier of the Roman Empire and a member of the Theban Legion, after rejecting the pagan faith, took refuge in these mountains to escape anti-Christian persecution. But right here he seems to have been hunted down and martyred in 290. Then in 522, as a result of miraculous circumstances, his burial was found and commemorated with a simple little church. When pilgrims flocking here increased, the choice was made to build the shrine.

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Between the Po and its valley stands proudly the shrine with its stories.


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