<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1008058222566041&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

The Patron Saint of Cyclists

Heather Dowd
Posted by Heather Dowd on Apr 4, 2024 11:45:00 PM
Find me on:

The Madonna del Ghisallo is a renowned sanctuary and symbol for cyclists, located in the Italian region of Lombardy, near Lake Como. The story of Madonna del Ghisallo is intertwined with the history of cycling and its deep roots in the Italian culture.

Madonna del Ghisallo

Legend has it that in the Middle Ages, a medieval count named Ghisallo was traveling near the site of the sanctuary. He was ambushed by bandits in the Ghisallo Pass, a mountain pass in the Italian Alps. As he faced this perilous situation, he sought refuge in a roadside shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

The Virgin Mary is said to have miraculously saved the count from harm. Grateful for his deliverance, Count Ghisallo became devoted to the Madonna, and the shrine became a place of pilgrimage for locals. Over time, it also became a symbol of protection for travelers, particularly cyclists.

In the early 20th century, as cycling gained popularity in Italy, the Madonna del Ghisallo became the patroness of cyclists. The shrine was further sanctified when Pope Pius XII officially declared Madonna del Ghisallo the patron saint of cyclists in 1949. The sanctuary now houses a small museum that displays cycling memorabilia, jerseys, and bicycles used by famous cyclists.

The Madonna del Ghisallo has since become a must-visit for cyclists, and the pass near the sanctuary is often included in prestigious cycling races such as the Giro d'Italia. Cyclists from around the world make pilgrimages to the sanctuary to seek the blessings of the Madonna del Ghisallo for a safe and successful journey on the roads. The sanctuary serves as a powerful symbol of the spiritual connection between cyclists and the challenging terrain they navigate.

Topics: Italy History & Culture

Don’t just read about Italy…visit it with us!

At Tourissimo, we are the Italy experts, and we offer walking and hiking tours throughout the country. Browse our Tour Calendar or contact us today to get started.

Share this post

Subscribe to Andiamo!

Subscribe to Andiamo!