The Sanctuary of Montallegro is the Sanctuary of Rapallo inhabitants and one of the most important Marian shrines of Liguria. It was built to celebrate the apparition of the Virgin Mary to the farmer Giovanni Chichizola on 2 July 1557 on the crest of what until then had been called Montis Laeti, the Mountain of Death. This has since been changed to Montallegro (Mountain of Gaiety) as a result of that event. Built in 1559 by the express will of the Virgin, when according to tradition, she told Chichizola "Go and say to the inhabitants of Rapallo I want to be honored here". It has since become a reference point for the whole community of Rapallo.
The beautiful marble facade of the church was designed by the architect Revelli, in the late nineteenth century. Inside, the vaults are frescoes by the great Genoese painter Nicolò Barabino and altars are a real blast of decoration and polychrome marble. On the walls, hundreds of votive offerings, mostly painted, embroidery and carvings in precious metals, bear witness to the devotion of the faithful towards the Madonna of Montallegro and the many graces received by those who have turned to Her in times of need.
On the high altar is the miraculous image left by Madonna on the site of the apparition as a token of love to the community of Rapallo, along with the gush of a prodigious source, whose waters have been channeled into a drinking fountain that is still in the side chapel of the Shrine.Read more