The Sanctuary of Sant'Anna di Vinadio is the second highest sanctuary in Europe, at 2035 meters high. It is located on the road from Vinadio up to the Lombarda hill, on a balcony from which you can see some of the most fascinating peaks of the Maritime Alps: Punta Maladecia, Testa Gias dei Laghi, Monte Aver, Cima della Lombarda.
Dedicated to Saints Anna and Gioacchino, Mary's parents, the patronal feast is on July 26th.
Oil on wood depicting the life of Sant'Anna - 1865 (detail)
The Sanctuary was originally one of the many refuge-churches that the Church built between the 11th and 12th centuries near the Alpine villages to assist wayfarers. Initially it was dedicated to Maria Brasca. Legend has it that Saint Anne appeared to the young shepherdess Anna Bagnis to show her the place where to build it. In the place of the apparition, on the road leading to the pass of Sant'Anna about 500 metres from the Sanctuary, today stands a commemorative statue. In the first half of the 1400's the cult of Saint Anne spread in Piedmont.