It is here that legend has it that on 27th March 1483 the painting of the Virgin Mary and Child, which was on a column at a crossroads, bestowed a miracle, and so Girolamo Riario and Caterina Sforza – Lords of Imola – had this sanctuary built and permitted the Franciscan friars to look after it.
The construction of the church began in 1491, and the building was enlarged many times in order to hold the large number of pilgrims who came to worship the image. This Renaissance styled building has a rectangular floor-plan, with a portal preceding the entrance and a large 16th century bell-tower 35 metres tall. Inside, above the altar, the famous painting of the Virgin Mary is kept, which is brought in procession from the Sanctuary to the Duomo of Imola in the month of May, and from there to visit the various churches of Imola during a week.
Recently in the west wing of the convent next to the church a museum of sacred art has been opened.
Basilica Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Piratello
via Emilia Ponente 27 – Loc. Piratello
tel. 0542 40455 Parish Church
7.15am to 12.00pm and 15.00pm to 18.00pm