Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Little Church of Miracles -- Lake Scanno

La Chiesa della Madonna del Lago, Scanno
La Chiesa della Madonna del Lago perched over Lake Scanno is both unusual and spectacular. Inside the small, charming church there are a few pews in front of a splendid altar which looks stunning set against the bare rock. The ceiling is an exquisite dome of blue and gold and features a dove surrounded by twelve heavenly angels. In each of the corners is a trompe l’oeil representation of each of the four evangelists.

Ceiling of Chiesa della Madonna del Lago

There is a local story about the origins of this church. Before it was built, the people here had to climb over a dangerous piece of rock in order to visit the villages to the south because the road was too narrow for horses to pass through. One day, in order to protect travellers, someone placed a statue of Mary on the rock.

La Madonnina - Lago di Scanno

After the statue was put there, miracles started to happen - so they decided to build a chapel on the spot and the statue was inserted into the backdrop of the striking altar. Since 1702, the chapel has seen many alterations and has eventually been turned into this enchanting church, with a road tunnel underneath.

Drawing from the 1800s of the side of La Chiesa della Madonna del Lago

The side of the church as it looks today
Postcard showing local women of Scanno in traditional costume

To see a magnificent photo of the gorgeous altar and read more about the history of this church, have a look at Tatiana’s post - The Church of the Lady of the Lake on her lovely Italian Slow Walks blog.


  1. Cara Eleonora,
    Complimenti e grazie!
    It’s a real pleasure to read your new beautiful story about Abruzzo’s hidden treasures.

  2. Grazie Tatiana! I look forward to meeting you in wonderful Abruzzo next month.