The Sanctuary at Colle Gallo dedicted to the Madonna of the Snow
Gaverina Terme | Luoghi religiosi
The Madonna of the Snow who awaits cyclists at the top of the hill
Two religions encounter each other at an altitude of 763 metres between the Val Cavallina and the Val Seriana: the Catholic religion and that of Cycling. Many great cyclists of the world have pedalled up the steep road that brings you to the Sanctuary of the Madonna of the Snow. The Giro d’Italia has had laps that passed through here many times, the last time in 2009. For those plucky types that brave the exacting eight kilometres of uphill pedalling, the satisfaction of arriving at the top is unparalleled. For all the others who arrive by car, fresh and well-rested… we’ll see you at the little museum of memorabilia!
Devotion to the Madonna who appeared here at the Passo del Colle Gallo in 1690.
The apparition of the Madonna at Colle Gallo is remembered each 5th of August, a Madonna that is a little special in that she is the protectress of cyclists. It is for this reason that so many of them set themselves the challenge of cycling up to the top of Colle Gallo, working their way up the steep route which has formed part of the Giro d’Italia as well as another celebrated bicycle race, the Gran Fondo Felice Gimondi.
For cycling enthusiasts and those who are simply curious, not to be missed is the Sala dei Ricordi dei Ciclisti (The Museum of Cycling Mementoes), where there are curios, trophies, photographs and even the jerseys of many a two-wheeling champion. Obviously the museum would not wish to be without a bicycle or two as well and among those in its collection, some show clearly the venerable signs of their age and are veritable cult pieces.
It makes no difference whether you have cycled to the top or just come to greet the cyclists at the end of their climb: there are green areas where anyone can stop for a picnic or relax and read a book in the open air. Don’t forget to take a stroll in the surrounding area – the view is spectacular!
If you happen to pass through here in the first week of August, don’t miss the village celebrations: there are the Feast of the Apparition of the Madonna on the 5th and two days before, a traditional torch-lit procession by bike, which finishes with a typical dinner of soup served in bowls made of bread.