Situated on a hill to the south of Livorno, Montenero has been a destination for pilgrims since 1345, because of its Sanctuary dedicated to Santa Maria delle Grazie, also known as the Madonna di Montenero. Opposite the church is the ‘temple of fame’, closed in by a wrought iron gate, where several local figures are buried or remembered. These include the composer Pietro Mascagni, and artists Giovanni Fattori and Amedeo Modigliani. The Madonna delle Grazie is the Patron of Tuscany, but well-known throughout Italy.
The hills that lie behind the sanctuary, once covered in thick woodland and inhabited by wildlife, were discovered as an ideal retreat from the city in the 18th century and many elegant villas grew up there, particularly belonging to the wealthy foreign merchants that had settled in Livorno. An example of these is the Villa Dupouy where George Byron stayed in 1822.
The area also became popular with the Livornese people as a place for days out, especially after the introduction of the tram connection with Livorno in 1901 and the funicular railway in 1908.
How to get here: LAM Rossa bus route
South to Montenero, the Sanctuary on the Hill