At Segonzano, in the shade of a lime tree several hundred years old, there is a sanctuary dedicated to Maria Ausilitrice, better known as the “Madonna dell’Aiuto” (Our Lady Help of Christians). The building, as it appears today, is the result of recent extensions carried out in 1961. Inside, there is the “miraculous” painting of the Madonna dell’Aiuto, which is a copy of the Mariahilf by Lukas Cranach conserved at Innsbruck It was commissioned and brought to Segonzano in 1682-83 by Baron Francesco Ferdinando of Prato. The painting was immediately placed in a chapel near Segonzano, which soon became the destination of pilgrimages by many devoted people. The chapel was enlarged several times and in 1820 the building was turned into a sanctuary. A hermitage was built near the church in the first half of the XIX century, which was then abandoned in 1971 when the last hermit died.
Open for visits: Segonzano Church: tel. 0461 246783, www.santuariomadonnadellaiuto.com