Shrine of Madonna di Pompei
Set amidst old stone houses and inns just 3.5 km from Monghidoro, the Madonna del Rosario di Pompei shrine is in the centre of the village of Piamaggio, on the SP60 provincial road.
Before the present place of worship, where the shrine now stands, in the 1600s there was a small oratory dedicated to Saint Francis of Paola and later to Saint Lawrence Martyr.
In 1885, the Monghidoro archpriest, Monsignor Giuseppe Fanti, noted the oratory’s state of decline and decided to refurbish and enlarge it.
The news was greeted with great joy by the inhabitants of Piamaggio who supported him in this enterprise, taxing themselves and working hard to have it built by the end of 1893.
Monsignor Fanti also had the idea of placing the image of Our Lady of Pompeii in the new church to promote and spread devotion of the Most Holy Rosary to all people. It was thanks to this strong sense of devotion that Monsignor Fanti was able to raise funds to have the image of the Blessed Virgin painted by the Bolognese painter Sante Nucci and to purchase the fifteen small Mysteries of the Rosary that make an admirable frame for the larger work.
On 27 July 1894 the image was carried in procession with the town band and blessed by the parish priest among a festive throng of the faithful.
Since then, every last Sunday of July, the Piamaggio community celebrates the shrine, the image of Our Lady of Pompeii and consequently its own history.
The stone portico with triple arches that protects the entrance to the shrine was built in 1898 at the behest of the faithful who once again, stone by stone, honoured their church with facts.
Since then it has been the destination for endless pilgrimages from Bologna and Tuscany.
The elevation to shrine came in the early 1900s and was confirmed in 1914.
On 29 June 1956, Cardinal Archbishop Giacomo Lercaro decreed Piamaggio a parish to reward the dedication of its community to this small but important place of faith.