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A Brief Itinerary to Discover the Beauties of Monregalese

Are you in Mondovì or planning to visit? Don’t just stop at the city; join us in exploring what to see near Mondovì! You’ll be amazed!

Visiting Mondovì, drawn in by one of the many events organized in the city, you’ll notice numerous brown signs pointing to the countless attractions surrounding it. That’s why we’ve decided not to limit ourselves to Mondovì but to venture into discovering Monregalese. Here, we found both super-famous and imposing monuments, as well as small places rich in history, art, and fascinating natural beauty.

Are you ready? Let’s begin!

What to See Near Mondovì: The Sanctuary of Vicoforte

Our journey to discover what to see near Mondovì starts with the most important monument in Monregalese and among the most significant in Piedmont: the Sanctuary of Vicoforte.

Its structure is truly imposing and easily visible from kilometers away with its gigantic elliptical dome, currently the largest of its kind in the world.

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Exterior of the Sanctuary of Vicoforte (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

Its history is quite unique. In the Middle Ages, there was a forest where the sanctuary stands today, and within it, a votive pillar was erected. It is said that one day, it was accidentally hit by a hunter, causing the Madonna figure to start bleeding.

This event sparked a certain devotion, leading to the construction of a small chapel around the pillar and, after a few years, a church. Devotion grew so much that the Savoy family decided this place would be the most important religious center of the Savoyard state. Over the centuries, they financed its expansion and decoration.

The Largest Single-themed Fresco in the World and Other Works

It was in the 18th century that architect Francesco Gallo, with immense resources and innovative techniques, completed the church’s dome, designing the enormous elliptical dome that remains unmatched to this day.

The dome’s decoration is also record-breaking. Covering 6032 square meters, it is the largest single-themed fresco in the world, painted by Mattia Bortoloni and Felicino Biella in the mid-18th century.

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The fresco of the elliptical dome (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

Surrounding the church’s central structure are a series of chapels.  Most interesting of these are the Chapel of San Benedetto and the Chapel of San Bernardo. The former displays two valuable canvases by Sebastiano Taricco and other works depicting the life of Jesus.

The latter houses the tombs of Duke Carlo Emanuele I, who initiated the construction of the sanctuary, as well as those of Vittorio Emanuele III and his consort, Elena of Montenegro.

Exploring the Dome with Kalatà

If the view of the Sanctuary of Vicoforte is already spectacular from below, imagine how exciting it can be to climb up and see all the decoration up close. Since 2015, this has been made possible thanks to the Magnificat by the Kalatà association.

During a two-hour visit, priced at €18 (though various discounts are available), visitors can ascend to the tambour balcony and closely observe the painted decoration in detail.

Additionally, they can explore the most suggestive and otherwise inaccessible areas, such as the top of the dome, offering a magnificent panorama of the Alps and the nearby Langhe.

For those unable to afford this, there’s a shorter €8 tour that still allows visitors to discover the beauty of this splendid sanctuary.

What to See Near Mondovì: The Church of San Fiorenzo in Bastia Mondovì

Much less known among the places to see near Mondovì is the Church of San Fiorenzo in Bastia Mondovì. This small church is located near the village cemetery and hides inside a splendid cycle of 15th-century frescoes covering all its walls.

It’s a splendid example of Biblia pauperum (Bible of the Poor), through which the Church instructed people and sought to remedy the many heresies that had developed in the area.

Undoubtedly, among the most striking figures is the representation of Hell, with a large demon in the center shaped like a reptile devouring sinners with its numerous mouths. Below this scene are human representations of the seven deadly sins: wrath, greed, envy, pride, gluttony, sloth, and lust.

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The Fresco of Hell (Credit o Matteo Marongiu)

In addition to this alarming representation, which was meant to serve as a warning to the faithful, other “vignettes” depict biblical episodes, apocryphal gospels, and some stories of saints.

Among these, we invite you to take a look at those dedicated to the life of San Fiorenzo, after whom the church is named. Here, you can see the saint, who was part of the famous Theban Legion sent to Gaul to persecute Christians but instead converted to the new religion.

Persecuted, Fiorenzo took refuge in the valleys near Bastia and began performing miracles for the population until he was captured and executed. From that moment on, he was always venerated in this area.

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Interior of the Chapel of San Fiorenzo (Credit to Matteo Marongiu)

The church is open from April to October every Sunday from 3 to 6 pm, with volunteers passionately illustrating the beauties of the church for free.

What to See Near Mondovì: The Bossea Cave in Frabosa Soprana

Monregalese is truly rich in attractions and records. Another of these is having the oldest tourist cave in the world. In fact, the Bossea Cave in Frabosa Soprana was discovered in the first half of the 19th century and opened to tourists in 1874. In 1948, thanks to an avant-garde lighting system for the time, the cave began to be visited by people who reached the mountains for their holidays.

For 150 years, this underground complex has been offering visitors splendid scenarios with its colorful concretions of various shapes and the water games of underground waterfalls. Moreover, what amazes visitors are the sounds that, from melodious and muffled, transform into thunderous in some areas.

During the guided tour, you’ll discover many curiosities, the first of which is that the cave is actually a system of interconnected cavities on multiple levels. Furthermore, in over 2 kilometers of paths, you’ll find 57 different species, 10 of which are endemic, some of which are found in a small area of the caves.

In addition, you’ll learn that in the shallower caves, the skeletons of Cave Bears have been found. This prehistoric species inhabited the area, reaching three meters in height and a ton in weight. To give an idea of their size, the complete skeleton of an adult specimen has been reconstructed in the Bear Hall!

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The Hall of the Bear with the Cave bear skeleton

In the area, there are other interesting caves such as the Dossi Cave in Villanova and the Caudano Caves. So, if you have more days and are a true enthusiast, why not visit these too?

What to See Near Mondovì: Crava Morozzo Oasis

As the last place to see near Mondovì, we would like to tell you about the Crava Morozzo Oasis. You should know that it was the first Lipu Oasis and covers an area of over 3000 hectares of forest with a large pond in the center. It is precisely this body of water that makes it an ideal resting place for migratory birds on their journey from Northern Europe to the South.

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The pond of the Crava Morozzo Oasis

For those who want to immerse themselves in nature, there’s a main trail offering numerous viewpoints of the pond and bird habitat. 

Moreover, for photography or birdwatching enthusiasts, well-camouflaged hides are available to observe wildlife without disturbing it. One of these hides is located at water level, allowing visitors to observe fish as well.

Entry to the oasis is free, but guided tours are available at very affordable prices or even for free.

To reach the Oasis there are two convenient roads:

  • from Morozzo in via Mondovì 52;
  • from Crava arriving from Rocca de’ Baldi, along the Provincial Road 120, after the bridge over the Pesio.

Now that you know the most interesting places to see near Mondovì, all you have to do is visit them.

Article Name
What to see near Mondovì
Explore what to see near Mondovì beyond the city limits! Don't miss out on nearby attractions. You'll be amazed!
Publisher Name
La Scimmia Viaggiatrice