Hidden treasures

Madonna del Frassine

Mysteries & Legends

Madonna del Frassine

In Tuscany there are many sanctuaries that enshrine, inside their ancient walls, legends dating back to distant times. One of these is related to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Frassine in Suvereto (in the province of Livorno), one of the most famous places of worship in the Maremma area. This legend revolves around the wooden statue of the Madonna and begins in the 6th century A.D. when the Bishop Regolo, after fleeing from Africa where Christians were persecuted, arrived in the coast of Tuscany bringing with him the precious sacred Lebanon cedar woodwork. The bishop navigated the course of the river Cornia and chose, for his life as a hermit, a forest that was more or less where the sanctuary now stands. At the arrival of the Ostrogoths, Saint Regolo was tragically killed but the statue, fortunately, was recovered by the friars of the Abbey of Saint Pietro in Palazzuolo in Monteverdi. It was kept in the Sanctuary until it was set on fire by the Pannocchieschi Family.

It was thought that the precious statue had been engulfed by the fire, but this was not the case! In fact, a friar, who managed to escape, hid it among the branches of an ash tree... but it took one hundred years and a mysterious event for the statue to reappear. Legend has it that a herdsman named Folco noticed that one of his calves strayed from the herd every day in the morning to return there in the evening. Intrigued by the strange behavior of the animal he followed it and became aware that every day he performed the same ritual: once it had arrived in front of an ash tree, it would kneel and remain there all day to return to his companions only in the evening. But what was particular about that ash tree? The herdsman got close to it, pushed the branches away... and guess what he found? The wooden statue of the Madonna that everyone believed had been destroyed during the fire a hundred years before!

A sanctuary was erected in the place, and that is where the statue is still kept today resting on the ash wood and on the many ex-votos that are testimony to the miracles effected by it.

The visit to the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Frassine is another reason to explore the enchanting village of Suvereto which is just a short distance away. On the other hand, how not to take advantage of it, Tuscany is indeed a land of villages! Each has its own characteristics, stories, legends and anecdotes. You just want to discover them all, don’t you? So don’t miss our fantastic tours through the Villages of Tuscany: our guides will reveal to you all the secrets of these ancient gems!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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