Santuario della SS. Pietà in Cannobio

The Sanctuary of the Santissima Pietà, which stands at the back of Cannobio’s beautiful lakeside promenade, was built at the behest of St Charles Borromeo around 1578 on a pre-existing, modest church erected on the very spot where, between 8 January and 27 February 1522, the miracle of the Holy Pietà took place. Tommaso dei Zacchei’s family kept a small painting in their home, hanging on the wall of a room, depicting a Christ emerging from the tomb with Our Lady and St John beside him, which was seen to fill with blood and tears.

On the evening of 9 January, a small rib-like bone, proportionate to the body of Christ depicted on the small picture, emerged from the side. Today, the picture and some blood-soaked cloths belonging to those who witnessed the events are kept in a niche in the high altar of the same Sanctuary, while the Holy Rib is kept in a reliquary in the Church of San Vittore. The single-nave building with a rectangular apse and an elegant tiburium houses a rich decoration dating back to the 17th-18th centuries: ranging from painting to stucco and the use of polychrome marble.

The most valuable and valuable work of art is undoubtedly the altarpiece on the high altar, an oil on panel depicting the Ascent to Calvary, created by the famous Gaudenzio Ferrari around 1540. Every year, on the evening of 7 January, the anniversary festival of the miracle is celebrated with the transport of the relic of the Sacra Costa from the parish church of San Vittore to the Sanctuary of the Santissima Pietà through a solemn procession illuminated by hundreds of candles displayed in the windows of the houses.


(Religious ceremony)
Address: Via al Santuario 2 – 28822 Cannobio (VB)

Distretto Turistico dei Laghi
Tel: +39 0323 30416