Vicoforte is only 30 minutes from the B&B
A few kilometers from Mondovi, on the road to Savona, stands one of the largest elliptical dome ever built in the world,symbol of the Vicoforte Sanctuary.The building is been designed in the first half of the eighteenth century by Francesco Gallo. The different architectural styles show that the construction continued over time: the bottom is Renaissance, the drum and dome are baroque, the steeples belongs to the eclectic architecture. The interior of the sanctuary consists of a single nave in which there is a small temple-colored marble ciborium which contains the historic pier with the image of Our Lady that gave rise to the construction of the temple complex. The Chronicles, in fact, say that in 1592, a hunter inadvertently affects the image of the Madonna with the blunderbuss. The fact upsets him to the point that after depositing the weapon next to the sacred image (the gun is still preserved in the Sanctuary) decides to rearrange the pylon. The episode has a large popular following, and soon becomes the construction of a true sanctuary at the beginning in the form of a simple church. The intervention of King Charles Emmanuel I of Savoy is decisive: the king announces a competition which elected the design for an elliptic system of the military engineer Ercole Negro di Sanfront, then discarded in favor of a commission to the ducal architect Ascanio Vitozzi. Vitozzi, commissioned to create a work that celebrates the devotion of the people and at the same time the greatness of the House of Savoy, retains its elliptical proposed by his predecessor, giving rise to the site July 7, 1596, with a long and laborious process which contributes to the death in 1615 of the designer. In particular, the solution for cover, a huge dome, in turn elliptical leaves up to 1701, the year of the assignment to the architect-engineer Monregalese Francesco Gallo, the open question. Gallo designs an elliptical dome of colossal dimensions: 74 meters high with a diameter of 36 meters, but work began only in 1729 and not in any case lead to the final conclusion of the sanctuary. In 1829 he achieved the main facade, designed by Ferdinando Bonsignore, while in 1883 are built the towers and started the construction of a Cistercian monastery. The interior is very impressive, revolves around the fence and to the sacred ciborium pylon, flooded with light entering through the windows at the base of the dome. In the chapel of San Bernardo is placed neoclassical funerary monument of Duke Carlo Emanuele I, executed in 1792 and designed by Ignazio and Filippo Collino, while the vault is frescoed by Paolo and Raphael Recchi (1680).