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From Crespadoro to Our Lady of the Crown

On pilgrimage to the church set in the rock

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Where is

Veneto

36070 Crespadoro VI, Italia (330m s.l.m.)

Directions
map

Thestory goes that one night mysterious flashes were seen on the side of Mount Baldo. When brave men reached the exact spot on the steep face, they found the statue of a Madonna, miraculously come all the way from the island of Rhodes. And it was there where the Madonna had chosen to stand that the shrine was built, overlooking the Adige Valley, set in the rock at a height of 774 meters.

The pilgrimage from Crespadoro is certainly one of the most beautiful and evocative itineraries, both for its scenic aspects and cultural and historical features, as well as for its religious aspects-a true experience of faith. Departing from Crespadoro, the route lasts a full three days, with two scheduled stops at high altitude refuges. The last stretch consists of no less than 1,500 steps, with an elevation gain of about 600 meters.

crespadoro-lessiniOn the way

With beans in our shoes

It is not clear to us how this custom came about, but our elders say that "i nasea a domandar la grassia oncor prima de lori," strictly "a pié," given the times, and with devotion. It is said that someone would go all the way with "i fasui 'ntele scarpe" to "permenire" some sin.

The tradition had gone somewhat into decline during the years of the economic boom, probably due to the greater economic possibilities that allowed more "fashionable" and less demanding destinations. It was the arrival in Crespadoro of Don Giuseppe Zanettin, who remained in the upper valley from 1980 to 1987, combined with the desire to rediscover local traditions of some young people of the time, that brought this pilgrimage back into vogue.

crespadoro-lessiniToward the goal

On the way

The time was the vacation season, the route included departure in the square with blessing and then off to the chain of our mountains passing through Bertagnoli, Scalorbi, Pertica, the Ronchi Valley, Ala, the Adige Valley, Brentino, to arrive at the Sanctuary "a ora de messa."

From the 1980s until today there have been many people who have rediscovered this ancient custom, with different routes. There are those who climb up to Fraccaroli, passing through malga Sinél and then descend through the Val del Gato to Ala and there are those who face the eastern Lessinia with its 365 malghe until they reach Fosse, and then face the steep descent of the Peri forest, cross the Adige and reach Brentino. From here begins the "Path of Hope" with its endless steps and unmissable views. And here the destination finally looms, clinging to the rock face: the sanctuary of Madonna della Corona.

santuario-madonna-della-coronaThe sanctuary of the Madonna della Corona

The goal

A quick refreshment and off to the church set in the rock: some people go to confession and then climb the holy staircase on their knees, raising a prayer at each step; some simply attend mass in the church packed with pilgrims, many of them descending from the village of Spiazzi that overlooks the holy place. At the end it was and is a must to pass through the small souvenir store to buy a souvenir of the place, tangible proof of the effort made to reach it. Some have done it several times and each time they return with new anecdotes and new routes traveled. But what unites everyone is the intimate satisfaction of having succeeded in a small but significant "personal feat."

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