Sanctuary of the Madonnina in Prato

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The Sanctuary of the Madonnina in Prato of Varese was mentioned for the first time by the then archbishop of Milan, Carlo Borromeo, during his pastoral visits in 1574.

The building has a fine Baroque façade made after the construction of the church between 1678 and 1686 with Viggiù sandstone, quarried in Val Ceresio in the province of Varese.

The façade is crowned with a statue of the Immaculate Virgin, with two decorative vases and two musician angels at her side. The two niches contain statues of St Joachim, father of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St Joseph.

In the interior, the fresco of the “Madonnina in Prato”, outlined by a plain wooden frame, depicts the Virgin seated on a richly decorated throne with her divine infant in her lap holding in his right hand a small globe marked with a cross.

The 18th century altar is made of valuable polychrome marble and is a small version of the high altar of the Basilica of San Vittore in Varese.

The dome is frescoed at its four corners with the figures of the prophets who spoke of Mary: Micah, Baruch, Jeremiah and Hosea; in the centre is the figure of God with the crown of glory, and Jesus Christ awaiting his Mother as she ascends to Heaven carried by angels.