Santella della Pentera

Country chapel on a hill

The Santella Della Pentera takes the form of an aedicule with a small stone porch, inside of which are three painted panels depicting St Onofrio, the Virgin Mary and St Fermo.  The locality where it stands has nothing to do with the exotic animal (i.e. panther). In the land survey of 1641, it is named Pintera, a dialect version of Puntera, or climb in English. In fact, at this altitude, the hill puts hikers to the test with a challenging upward slope. The “Santella” or shrine was inaugurated on 1 April 1900, as commemorated by an old memorial stone that crowned it.  It was perhaps intended to celebrate the new century or, more probably, the Jubilee that fell on that very year. Until the 1970s, it would remain a simple aedicule with frescoes of Saints Onofrio, Fermo and the Virgin Mary, as recalled by those living in the village. The restoration work began on 5 September 1982, carried out thanks to the voluntary work of many people from Bovezzo who climbed up the hill carrying bricks, lime mortar and other materials. A brick portico was added to the shrine during these works, giving it the character of a real country chapel. The raised plinth was also added, surrounded by a fence to keep out grazing animals. The current frescoes were painted in 1982 by Ettore Donini. Like others in the area, this shrine is inserted in a route that was part of the procession of those who went up to the Sanctuary of San Onofrio, almost an element of Sacro Monte with a strong folklore tradition.