SANTUARIO DI SANTA MARIA DEL SASSO
An architectural complex of great historical value, artistic and religious, the only Renaissance sample in Casentino, declared National Monument in 1899.
The original little church dates back to 1347, built after a miraculous episode. The Sanctuary (www.santamariadelsasso.it) takes its name from the large rock on which during the year 1347, farmers of the area noticed several times a white dove that allowed only children and a Camaldolese hermit, Martino from Poppi, to get close. On June 23rd, in the evening, a 7 year old girl, Catherine, saw a “beautiful woman dressed in white”, which urged her to God’s love and purity, and gave her some pods, which later in the evening at home were found filled with blood: confirmation of the story of Catherine and prediction of the terrible plague of 1348, from which Bibbiena and surroundings remained immune. In 1486 a fire destroyed the original church the was built by the hermit Martino.
In the same year, began the construction of the standing sanctuary, which had a particular development in 1495 through the work of Father Girolamo Savonarola, considered the founder of Santa Maria. The new church took its present shape thanks to the project of Giuliano da Majano and was consecrated in 1507.