Deggia: A Llama and the Virgin Mary

December 3, 2013 / Places
Deggia, Trentino Alto-Adige
Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images

One of the benefits of undergoing therapy at a spa-wellness center in the Giudicarie area of the Trentino is the free time I had in between therapeutic baths to explore a host of nearby villages and hamlets just waiting to be framed by my lenses.

Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images

One such locale is Deggia, a minuscule dot on the map that’s home to only three families, a llama ranch, an organic nursery and the reason for my visit: Il Santuario della Madonna di Caravaggio (The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Caravaggio).

Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images

According to Roman Catholic tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in the countryside around the village of Caravaggio in the Lombardy region back on May 26, 1432. Since that time, there have been other Marian apparitions attributed to Our Lady of Caravaggio, and votive churches built by humble communities who prayed to Her for divine intervention in times of great peril — like my photo-shoot destination of Deggia, just beyond the reach of San Lorenzo in Banale.

Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images

The sanctuary was built shortly after Deggia and other nearby hamlets and villages were spared sure death, due to their prayers to Our Lady of Caravaggio, from a cholera epidemic that ravaged the rest of the Trentino back in 1858. Consecrated in 1862, the Santuario della Madonna di Caravaggio votive church was enlarged in 1894 and again in 1898.

Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images
Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images
Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images

With several cameras draped around my neck, I set off down a roughly paved road to visit the Sanctuary, take in the pastoral scenery and soak up the peace and quiet along the way.

Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images
Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images
Carnavaggio2_WM
Deggia | @ Tom Palladio Images
Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images

I was pretty much on my own throughout the three-hour photo shoot, stopping often enough to snap away and even chatting it up with the only breathing creature I came in direct contact with: an animated llama who stood out from the rest of the herd grazing freely around the hamlet wherever it was green.

Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images

Three-hundred-plus shots later, I waived goodbye to the tiny hamlet of Deggia and the photogenic llama [Fernando] and headed back to the spa-wellness center for for my nightly soak in the therapeutic waters.

Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images
Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images
Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images

Deggia (TN) | ©Tom Palladio Images

by Tom Weber

Tom is a veteran print-broadcast journalist who resides in the Colli Euganei (Euganean Hills) in the province of Padova in the Veneto region of northestern Italy. He hosts the eclectic travel/foodie/photography blog The Palladian Traveler.com, is a regular contributor to Los Angeles-based TravelingBoy.com, and is a member of the International Travel Writers Alliance. Feel free to follow Tom as he “meanders along the cobblestone to somewhere.”

22 Responses to “Deggia: A Llama and the Virgin Mary”

  1. Anne Robichaud

    Mamma mia, Tom, your good note is discouraging: just reminds me of how many hidden treasures still to be unearthed here in Italy.! Mille grazie.

    Reply
    • Anne — It’ll take two lifetimes, ours together, just to make a dent in all of those borghi that dot La Penisula’s landscape. Glad you enjoyed my visit to tiny Deggia.

      Reply
  2. Toni DeBella

    All the shots were beautiful, but funny enough the one with the blurred foreground and the little house in the center reminded me of the village of tiny paper houses we put out at Christmas when I was a child. I always assumed they were German or Swiss chalets, but I’ve decided they were Italian. Nice memories your note brought back. Toni

    Reply
    • Toni — That’s the Santuario shot from faraway with a telephoto lens. It was a great view as you noted. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
    • I never did this before, but your comment s and your name compelled me to give it a try. Ha. So any way.. Can I say I thought the exact smae thing of the casa/houses that it
      reminded me of the tiny christmas house you would put on the tree with the light into the back of it!!! And I still have 1 or 2 that i put on my tree.
      And the other comment about getting that front row seat to whatch all the busy people…. I love that and i like to do that. I can say i never did have a spot as you do. I love that 2 ha!!! Ciao

      Reply
    • Lynne — It was photographer’s paradise walking the lane passed all of those little, rustic cottages. Thanks for viewing the post.

      Reply
  3. Lynn Michaels

    “Peace and quiet” is certainly what comes across in your photos, Tom. I consider myself such a southern italia person, but maybe I need to reassess and be more inclusive. You make a strong case for northern explorations. Thanks!

    Reply
  4. David J. Centner

    One of the most moving apparitions took place a century later at Adro, which I believe is near Belluno. A deaf-mute boy tending sheep saw the Virgin Mary who told him to tell the people to go to church on Sunday, to stop bestemmiando, and to build a church in her honor. The church took decades to build. It was affiliated with St. Mary Major’s in Rome and came to be called Our Lady of the Snows.

    Reply
    • David — Thanks for the footnote on Adro, which is in the province of Brescia. I’ll have to visit one day to view the Santuario della Madonna della Neve.

      Reply
  5. Frank Bettinelli

    Beautiful photo shoot, Tom. You capture the serenity and grandeur of the area. They were all great, the last was the best. It is hard to put
    into words the feelings that are felt while looking at these photos.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  6. Melinda Jankord-Steedman

    Lovely photos, Tom. At first I thought it might be a typo, because the Italian side of my family has history with the Santuario di Gallivaggio, which is between Chiavenna and Campodolcino in the Sondrio province. In 1492 Mary appeared to a Buzzetti girl (an ancestor) and another child. http://www.valchiavenna.com/it/cultura/Il-Santuario-di-Gallivaggio.html
    Grazie mille, Tom, for your evocative photos and your writing.

    Reply
  7. Marianna Raccuglia

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos – I see that lovely Anne enjoyed them, too! I could almost smell the “air”.

    Reply

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