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The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte on the Island of Elba

The sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte is a religious building that one finds in the homonymous locale in Marciana and is reached via a picturesque path marked by the fourteen chapels of the Via Crucis. It is the oldest and most famous sanctuary on the Island of Elba, already attested in the fourteenth century: an image of the Madonna of the Assumption was venerated there, painted on a block of granite built into a wall and datable to the thirteenth or fourteenth century.

There are countless episodes of the religious and civic life of the Island attached to this site, standing out among which is a story about Napoleon. It is said that the Emperor discovered the sanctuary while out horseback riding and was fascinated by the place and its extraordinary view, which stretched all the way to Corsica. And so he decided to spend some time there, between 23 August and 14 September 1814. In the meantime, on 1 September, Maria Waleska and little Alessandro, Napoleon’s illegitimate child, arrived on the Island of Elba: the two then secretly went to see the Emperor at the Madonna del Monte to spend a few days together.

Inside the Sanctuary one still finds the seventeenth–century furnishings, a holy–water stoup from 1609 and a marble altar from 1661, behind which frescoes attributed to Sodoma were discovered. The cupola was painted in 1875 with subjects inspired by the Marian cult. On the exterior, before the entrance, there is an exedra with three fountains.

Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte
Locale Madonna del Monte
Marciana (Livorno)

The sanctuary is always open and admission is free of charge

Diocese of Massa Marittima–Piombino
Tel. +39 0565 901041