Sanctuary of Graglia
The Sanctuary of Graglia is located in the airy and picturesque Valle Elvo in a place surrounded by woods. The sanctuary originated from an ambitious but unfinished 17th century project called "Novella Gerusalemme" or "Palestina del Piemonte", dedicated to San Carlo at Graglia. The project included the creation of a Sacred Mountain complex, comprising 100 chapels, between the town of Graglia and the Colle San Carlo. It was resumed in 1655, when a wooden statue of the Madonna Lauretana was put into place, which became the focal point of intense devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In subsequent years, other chapels were built and decorated with terracotta statues. These were dedicated to the birth of Jesus, the Adoration of the Magi, the Presentation in the Temple, Circumcision, and the Massacre of the Innocents. Many graces and miracles obtained by the faithful praying in front of the miraculous image fuelled the development of a strong devotion among area residents. There was a desire to place the chapel in the centre of a majestic sanctuary. Today, a visit to the Sanctuary begins from the Basilica, where we can find the Chapel of Our Lady of Loreto. Worthy of note are the "Cappella degli esercizi" (Chapel of the Exercises) on the first floor, and the four chapels of the Sacro Monte complex appended to the sanctuary. Outside the basilica are two artistic sundials and a beautiful stone fountain. Green trees, healthy water gushing from mountain springs and the lovely panorama that offers a splendid view of the flatlands make this an ideal place for nature lovers. In the vicinity of the sanctuary, it is possible to go on many excursions accessible to everyone and enjoy outdoor activities.