Madonna of Lacona

Sanctuary of the Madonna della Neve or Madonna di Lacona

The sanctuary of the Madonna della Neve also called Madonna di Lacona, is a sacred building located in the locality of Lacona , in the municipality of Capoliveri.

The Romanesque church, as identified in the basement portion, dates back to the 12th century, was built by the inhabitants of Capoliveri to house the image of the “Madonna della Neve” to which it is dedicated. Ecclesiastical benefit of patronage of the municipality of Capoliveri, the church and the adjacent land, which probably included a hermitage annexed to the oldest apsidal part, were entrusted to the custody of two hermits and their administration to two annual lay priors. Under the Grand Duchy of Tuscany the administrator became unique and improvements and additions were made. In 1817 there was only one hermit, Giuseppe Tosi.

The Sanctuary of the Madonna di Lacona consists of a single body: room for worship, sacristy and bell tower. Above the sacristy, a room accessible only by stairs through a trap door.
The Oratory has two entrances, one main at the back of the Church and the other on the south side. In the place of worship, the altar is visibly dominated by the painting of the Madonna della Neve. The area of ​​the celebration is accessed by climbing a few steps. The double arched ceiling is supported by rafters and trusses. Other interesting information on the origin, structure and peculiarities

The oratory of the Madona della Neve in Lacona

The church of the Madonna della Neve is located in Lacona along a road route that from the western part of the island reaches Lacona shortly thereafter, the crisp and clear volumes of the sanctuary of the Madonna della Neve stand out against the greenery of the surrounding area, with a today’s architectural imprint of a clear eighteenth-century style. During a restoration campaign conducted around the middle of the last century, a high section (ca. 3.5m) of wall facing in granite and limestone ashlars of different shades arranged in regular rows although not isodomic. The wall appears to be complete only on the right part of the facade and on the entire southern side of the building, where it extends along the side and is visible from the outside and inside, resulting in a thickness of approximately 0.70 m with filling by the bag.

Madona della Neve of Lacona medieval church

The main entrance to the church which opens on this side also appears to be pertinent to the medieval building. The portal was surmounted by an architrave with archivolt and lunette, traces of which, however, are visible only on the internal part. From this entrance, continuing northwards, we find that the external wall covering no longer corresponds to the internal part. This was interpreted by Maetzke as the result of a reassembly of the medieval facing stones carried out at the time of the expansion of the building which took place during the eighteenth century, an expansion and restoration carried out to remedy the damage suffered by the Turkish incursions in first half of the sixteenth century. The traces discovered under the current building allow us to reconstruct the plan of the Romanesque church as shown in the drawing, which therefore had dimensions similar to the standard of the small suffragan churches of a parish church, in this case that of San Michele a Capoliveri. (Text taken from: Testimonies of Romanesque architecture by Alesandro Naldi)

Stree View

360 ° view from the church of Santa Maria della Neve

How to reach Madonna di Lacona

The sanctuary of the Madonna della Neve is located in the countryside of Lacona, the church is 1 km from the beach of Lacona , 8 km from Portoferraio and 9 km from Marina di Campo .

Location of the Church