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 Sanctuary of M. SS. Odigitria (1607) 

Built on the main square of the town, it was opened for worship as early as 1616. Around 1622 it was rebuilt and enlarged based on a design by Pietro Novelli. At the entrance to the church, with three naves divided by four pillars on which the large octagonal dome with a lantern rests, there are two baroque holy water stoups in local red marble in the shape of a shell. The central apse with respect to the side aisles is very deep so the dome, unlike the Baroque churches, is located closer to the entrance, while the altar remains in dim light. The statue of the Virgin Hodegetria (end of the 17th century) is preserved there, in stuccoed and gilded wood, supported by two monks among whom, the icon of Odigitria that the exiles would have brought from Albania is embedded. In the side aisles, four baroque altars with polychrome marble are dedicated to S. Pantaleo, S. Rosalia, S. Antonio and finally to the souls in Purgatory. The walls are adorned with a painting depicting the Archangel Michael (1700) and a Crucifixion in carved wood, painted by Spiridione Marino. Each altar has ancient coats of arms belonging to families of Piana (Schirò, Matranga, Schiadà). The Schirò coat of arms bears a crenellated tower and two rampant lions on the sides. The Matranga coat of arms features a hand holding a sword fronted by a shield with a dragon at the bottom and a star at the top. The Schiadà coat of arms shows a diagonal line that separates a bird from a dog.

Santuario Odigitria Piana degli Albanesi

  Focus on Pietro Petta  

Find out more about the painter Pietro Petta who was a pupil of Patania and a lover of Novelli

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