Sanctuary of the Our Lady of the Boden

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How to get

By car: from the A26 motorway, continue along the Sempione dual carriageway following the directions for Ornavasso. At the Ornavasso exit, pass through the village centre and then follow the directions for the Sanctuary.
By train: the nearest railway stations are Verbania-Pallanza or Gravellona Toce.


The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Boden is situated at 475 metres a.s.l. above the village of Ornavasso. Before it became a sanctuary, the building was a consecrated oratory, built on the site of an earlier chapel where (according to popular tradition) a young shepherdess had seen a vision of the Virgin Mary.

The choir, the chapel of Saints Julius and Bartholomew, the sacristy and the porch were added to the oratory in the middle of the 18th century. Subsequent enlargements, like the lateral naves and the renovated altar were carried out in the first half of the 19th century (1825-1837). Today, the building has a ground plan of three naves divided by four arches of which the last two open onto the presbytery.

Every year, on the 8th September, many pilgrims come to the Madonna del Boden in honour of the birth of the Virgin Mary: on this occasion, the village is alive with a week of festivities, based on delicious local specialities, music and sports competitions.

The walk “along the way of faith”, a Via Crucis (Stations  of the Cross) which starts at Ornavasso and leads to the Sanctuary, has a special atmosphere of devotion.