The Sanctuary of Macereto is on the homonymous plateau of Macereto, near Visso, in the Sibillini mountains, and it’s an extraordinary example of Renaissance architecture in the Marche. People say that in the past miracles took place here so it became a place of widespread popular devotion.
It was built in 1529 by Giovan Battista da Lugano , although the original plan was most probably by Bramante, and it replaced the previous church erected in the year 1359. The construction was suspended when Lugano died and started again in 1553 under the guidance of Filippo Salvi da Bissone and finished in 1556.
The magnificent Sanctuary, covered in travertine, has an octagonal plan with the external structures on three sides in correspondence to the three entrances to the church.
The inner church plan is in the form of a Greek cross with four wings, each of them ending in four apses with niches. In the middle of the temple stands the ancient chapel that was covered in stone in 1585-1590.
In the apse of the main altar there’s a very nice chapel with stucco decorations and statues, and most notably, some artworks by Simone de Magistris painted from 1580-1582: the “Birth of Christ”, “The Worship of the Magi”, “The descent of the Holy Spirit”, the “Circumcision”, la “Nativity of the Virgin Mary”, and the “Flight to Egypt”.
The Sanctuary is currently damaged due to earthquake 2016. Some parts of the monument have been fenced.