Back to the list

29-3-2021 Restoration work has begun on the Chapel of the Madonna di Vitaleta

Visitors will soon be able to enjoy this timeless beauty.

This little Chapel, nestled between two rows of cypress trees, has become an important feature of the best-known landscapes in the world. It rises in Vitaleta, near San Quirico d’Orcia, and was built on the extension site of an older tabernacle.

In 1553, it became home to a famous statue of the Virgin ascribable to Andrea della Robbia. The statue, today preserved in the Chiesa della Madonna di Vitaleta in the centre of San Quirico d’Orcia, has a rather interesting history: It is in fact said that it was the Virgin Mary herself who, appearing to a shepherdess, suggested that the faithful should go to a shop in Florence where they would find the statue that would then be placed in the church in Vitaleta.

In 1779, because of an ongoing drought, the Madonna was transferred to the Collegiate Church in San Quirico d’Orcia; in the same year, the statue was brought back to the Collegiate for the second time where it remained until 1782. In 1861, due to a series of earthquakes, the statue was moved to inside the Collegiate and the Vitaleta Chapel suffered further abandonment until 1884 when it was completely redesigned, both inside and out, by the Siennese architect Giuseppe Partini who drew inspiration from the 16th century models. Worship of the Madonna grew so much that a celebration in her honour is held on the first Sunday in September.

UNESCO World Heritage Site, the chapel is now owned by Eng. Pasquale Forte, a visionary entrepreneur who already in the mid-90s created Podere Forte, an organic and biodynamic farm, the center of a careful recovery of the Valdorcian farming and winemaking tradition, where the spearhead is given by the production of wines.

The restoration aims to give a new soul to this incomparable and so poetic place, so that it can be accessible again, to those who want to visit it and to those who want to choose it to fulfill their dream of love. The internal and external intervention project respects the simplicity that distinguishes it.

The completition is expected in May 2021 and restoretion work will be carried out upon approval of "Fine Arts Service".

At the same time even the  "Ristoro Vitaleta" is under construction, a meeting place for all those visitors who, after admiring the charm of the church and the surrounding landscape, would love to take a break while enjoying the excellences of Podere Forte: Cinta Senese cured meats from certified organic farming, organic honeys, organic and biodynamic Terre di Siena DOP extra virgin olive oil, fresh bread made with Senatore Cappelli durum wheat semolina from organic and biodynamic agriculture, all accompanied by the great wines of Podere Forte.

At the “Ristoro Vitaleta” visitors will also find typical, organic and highly selected Tuscan products.

The worthy conclusion of a day dedicated to beauty.