A jewel set in the rocks

A jewel set in the rocks

The Sanctuary of the Madonna d'Appari, a Romanic masterpiece among the mountain hermitages
Hemmed in between the Raiale River and the rocky hillside, the façade of the slender Sanctuary reaches out upwards, situated next to the tall bell tower alongside.

This Romanic style jewel was declared a national monument in 1902 and to enjoy the view you have to travel the road from L’Aquila up towards the Gran Sasso, along the stretch that joins Paganica with Camarda. It is a very fascinating site surrounded by the luxuriant nature of the park, with rocks and trails winding through the black pine forest.

The simple façade of the Sanctuary stands tall in this frame, with its rounded arch and round window. On entering the Sanctuary you are greeted by an explosion of colour: the single nave interior is entirely frescoed with scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Worthy of note is the 'Madonna of the Rosary with the fifteen mysteries', painted by Pompeo Mausonio in 1596.

The Sanctuary also houses a valuable 400 pipe organ, built by the Roman artist Tommaso Vayola in 1857, which organ recitals are played on during the summer.

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