Monastery of santa maria del lavello
Monastery of Santa Maria del Lavello
A short distance from Lecco, on the shores of the river Adda, is the Monastery of Santa Maria del Lavello, with the old convent of the Servants of Mary and the church of the Vergine del Lavello, situated on the rim of the San Martino Valley.
The Monastery of Santa Maria del Lavello stands in the place where in 1480, according to legend, a spring suddenly gushed forth from underneath an ancient burial tomb and became famous for its miraculous properties, making this site a destination for pilgrims. A group of Servants of Mary came here from Bergamo in 1486 to build a new church that would welcome the pilgrims that flocked here to visit the spring. Construction of the convent of the friars, however, began in 1510. Towards the end of the 16th century, the nave of the church was expanded to its current size, but in 1629 the mercenaries that landed in the region caused extensive damage, marking the end of the period of prosperity. In the early 2000s the complex was restored to its original splendour, to stand as a great example of the area's artistic and historical heritage.
Traditional festivals tied to the monastery continue to be held even today. On 25 March, the day of the Annunciation, there is the revival of the ancient "Fera of Cavagnöi", also known as the "Madonna of March". On 8 September, the monastery celebrates the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the feast that celebrates the devotion of those who continue to venerate the Madonna del Lavello.