The most visited and photographed church in the Val d’Orcia is undoubtedly the Chapel of Madonna di Vitaleta which is nestled in the Tuscan countryside on a hill surrounded by cypress trees a stone’s throw from San Quirico d’Orcia .
We recommend that you visit the evocative Chapel in different seasons of the year to admire the changing landscape and color the small Vitaleta according to the periods. Immersed in the snow or surrounded by bales of hay you will certainly be struck by this small and humble chapel that has become the symbol of the Val d’Orcia.
In 1553 the statue of the Virgin Mary by Andrea della Robbia was introduced into the small chapel. According to legend, the statue is linked to a story. The Virgin Mary appeared near the chapel to a shepherdess asking that the faithful go to a shop in Florence where they would find the statue to be brought to the church of Vitaleta. Today the statue is preserved in the Church of the Madonna della Vitaleta which is located in the center of San Quirico d’Orcia.
Over the years, the Vitaleta Chapel fell into a state of disrepair until 1884 when it was totally redeveloped by the Sienese architect Giuseppe Partini. The cult of the Madonna of Vitaleta resumed and a party was held in his honor every first Sunday in September.
Where: 53027, San Quirico d’Orcia.
You can find information on the Chapel of the Madonna of Vitaleta on this link.