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You can reach it comfortably on an easy path along the Via Crucis (illustrated by panels of the artistic art school of Cabiate) and once you are on the churchyard you’ll have the unique feeling of having been thrown to the center of cosmic beauty. Returning from the Holy Land the Beato Bernardino Caimi (1420-1500) a devout Franciscan dreamt to build on a sacred Mount on the same route the places of Jesus Christ’s Passion, but unfortunately the hostile villagers didn’t grant him their lands. Disappointed he left for Varallo Sesia where in 1481 he succeeded in completing his craved work.
Afterwards there was a sort of “biblical plague” in Palanzo which dried all the willow branches used to bind the vines and seriously endangering the vineyards. Particularly touching was the procession and the Holy Mass which took place every second Sunday of the month at the Madonna del Soldo. During the procession a confrere tied a rope around his loins, put a crown full of thorns on his head and a cross on his shoulders, near him was a Cyrenian. The holy performance stopped on the 8th July of 1929 because of a censorship decree written by mons. Pagani. The church, whose origins date back to the XVI century, is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows and to Saint Joseph who was celebrated in the evening of the 18th March with fireworks and howitzer shots.
There are three different hypothesis for the origin of denomination “Madonna del Soldo” but the most credible is the one which indicates the place where the Sanctuary now is a sort of “customs”, a natural crossroads between the mountains and the lake where traders stopped to pay duties and taxes; hence the connection to “soldo” (money). Situated in the centre of the village and worth visiting is the sixteenth century (1572) oil and grapes press which towers over a farm building owned by the municipality. The press is currently used once a year in October during a folk festival.
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