Santuario della Madonna di Pompei
Set amidst old stone houses and inns, just 3.5 km from Monghidoro, the Shrine of the Madonna del Rosario of Pompei is in the centre of the village of Piamaggio, on the SP60 provincial road. Before the present place of worship, where the Shrine now stands, in the 1600s there was a small oratory dedicated to San Francesco di Paola and later to San Lorenzo martyr. In 1885, the archpriest of Monghidoro, Monsignor Giuseppe Fanti, noted the oratory’s state of decline and decided to refurbish and enlarge it. The news was greeted with great joy by the inhabitants of Piamaggio, who supported him in this enterprise, taxing themselves and working hard to have it built by the end of 1893. Monsignor Fanti also had the idea of placing the image of the Madonna di Pompei in the new church, to promote and spread the devotion of the Most Holy Rosary to the people. It was thanks to this strong sense of devotion that Monsignor Fanti was able to raise the funds to have the image of the Blessed Virgin depicted by the Bolognese painter Sante Nucci and to purchase the fifteen small Mysteries of the Rosary that make and admirable frame for the larger work. On July 27, 1894, the image was carried in procession with the town band and blessed by the parish priest among a festive throng of the faithful. Since then, every Sunday of July, the Piamaggio community celebrates the Shrine, the image of the Madonna of Pompeii and consequently its own history. The stone portico, with triple arches that protects the entrance to the Shrines, was built in 1898 at the behest of the faithful who once again, stone by stone, honoured their church with facts. Since then, it has been the destination for endless pilgrimages from Bologna and Tuscany. The elevation to Shrine came in the early 1900s and was confirmed in 1914. On June 29, 1956, Cardinal Archbishop Giacomo Lercaro decreed Piamaggio a parish to reward the dedication of its community to this small but important place of faith.