A LITTLE OF HISTORY
A lot of preeminent visitors have been to Soviore. The young emperor Ottone III, when at the beginning of May 996 was going to Rome to be crowned by the Pope, spent the night in Chiesanuova di Levanto, by the Zattera family. Many centuries later San Leonardo da Porto Maurizio, Franciscan, at the end of a mission in Levanto, went with the people to visit the Sanctuary. There have also been miraculous events, properly substantiated.
The statue, which, up until the seventies, appeared clothed in silk robe and cloak, recently has been brought again to the original appearance. The Mother’s look, more than sorrow, expresses a feeling of serenity and sweetness, almost foreboding the Son’s resurrection.
This image, very similar to those of Suevian origin, has been crowned, ninth in other world, with golden crowns, decreed by the Chapter of the Vatican basilica, the 10th of august 1749. Every twenty-five years is fetched to Monterosso by the sea, where, for eight days, solemn celebrations take place.
The present dimensions back up to 1300. The famous cartographer Matteo Vinzoni tells us that a little after the middle of 1700 it was split into three naves ( some of the columns capitals are now in the communication trench under the floor). At the beginning of 1800 was covered with the present vault; and the story has it that the bricks, arrived to Monterosso by sea, have been sent up to the Sanctuary by passing them from hand to hand.
The priest Mentasti with images depicting the most indicative moments in the Sanctuary’s story has frescoed the vault, in 1872. Always from Vinzoni we know that the present building behind the church, called then “seminario” (seminary) for the summer holiday of the Brugnato seminarists, wasn’t there in 1700. On the square there was only a portion of the present building corresponding to the first four archways. In the XIXth century and on later dates the building and the square have been extended, in other four stages, until the last one in 1929. In the rearward are typical the stone bridges that lead to the upper floor rooms.
The porches, shut at the beginning of the’50s, recently have been reopened and readjusted. In the offing of the 2000’s Jubilee and by the wish of the late rector don Sandro Crippa, other works endowed the Sanctuary with a much bigger restaurant, obtained by digging mount wards; with a conference room, built under the existing parking, and with other chambers, rooms and multifunctional services.
From the Sanctuary square, under the ancient holm-oaks, the eye sweeps toward Monterosso, barely in sight, and the Mesco promontory on the front. Some days, particularly clear, more frequent in late fall and in winter, especially in the morning or in the evening, it’s possible to see: right of the seer, the Portofino promontory and more offshore the coast and the mountains which dominate Savona; across the Albenga plain sometimes are noticeable the Monviso solitary top and the Maritime Alps. Almost opposite, as if pointed out by Punta Mesco, the Corsica Mountains peep out.