Sanctuary of Banchette
Immersed in the vegetation at the foot of Mount Rovella, it may be little known but it is very evocative. The Sanctuary of Banchette is located in an elevated position, and a steep but harmonious cobblestone street leads the faithful through an arch adorned with white roses to the vivid green lawn in front of the church with its splendid white façade. In short, this is an idyllic place where the faithful can rediscover the tranquillity and profound silence of faith.
Legend has it that in the place where the church now stands there was a fresco of the Virgin Mary against which a madman threw a stone, hitting the Virgin in the face (from which the name of "Madonna dal bull", Our Lady of the Bruise). The population became angry and, to make up for the damage done, decided to build a church around the location of the offence, incorporating the column with the fresco of the Virgin, which is still present inside. The legend appears to be based on fact. The painting presents visible damage to the Virgin's face, as well as fragments of other paintings, which suggest the presence of a small ancient chapel with a completely painted interior.
This fresco is believed to date back to the end of the 15th century. The author is probably one of the students or children of the Novara-born painter Daniele De Bosis.
The oldest description of the church dates back to 1573. There were plans to build an additional series of chapels, representing the mysteries of the life of the Virgin, but only the first was completed, dedicated to the Annunciation (1710).
Many people go to church here on a regular basis. There are also mentions of miracles and ex-voto donated in sign of thanks.