Places of worship
Santuario di Pancole

In the very place where the Santuario di Pancole stands today, there once rose an aedicule with frescoes by Pier Francesco Fiorentino which depicted the Virgin breastfeeding the Child and which can be tentatively dated to between 1475 and 1499. Later, the aedicule fell into neglect; the roof caved in, and it became covered with brambles and ivy before disappearing from view completely.

It is said that in early April 1668 Bartolomea Ghini, a shepherdess mute from birth and from a poor family, discovered the power of speech in front of a beautiful lady who had appeared from nowhere. She told Bartolomea to go home, where she would find the larder full. When the girl realised that she could talk, she raced home, calling at the top of her lungs to her parents, who were stupefied to hear their daughter speak and to find a plentiful larder. All the villagers wanted to go where the girl said that she had seen the mysterious lady, but found only a tangle of blackberry bushes. With scythes and billhooks they hacked away at the plants until they found the aedicule hidden beneath, with the image of the woman whom Bartolomea said she had met. During the removal of the brambles this image had sustained a scratch from one of the blades, and it is still visible today. The church was erected and consecrated in only two years, the work finishing in 1670, and in 1923 it was made a Diocesan Sanctuary. On 14 July 1944 it was undermined by retreating German soldiers and almost completely destroyed: the only thing saved was the wall of the altar with the sacred icon. The sanctuary was reconstructed in its previous image and was reconsecrated on 19 October 1949.


Via Pancole, 16, 53037 Pancole SI, Italia
San Gimignano (SI)
GPS coordinates
Contact person
Parish Priest: Padre Giuseppe Brocchi - Vice Parish Priest: Padre Cesare Cuomo
0577 955083

In April, especially in certain years (2018), the anniversary of the miracle is celebrated. A festival in honour of the Madonna takes place at the Santuario di Pancole every year on 8 September.

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