The Sanctuary of Santa Augusta
The Sanctuary of Santa Augusta on Mount Marcantone overlooks the Serravalle pass and is a popular destination for hikers. The climb starts behind the apse of Serravalle Cathedral, on Via Calcada. After a monumental flight of steps topped with arches and a Statue of Saint Augusta by G. Giordani comes a mule track that is cobbled in places and has staggered steps. It initially follows a narrow route between the two parallel town walls of Serravalle and then opens up on the wooded side of the hill.
An old tower with battlements (now a bell tower) stands on the right of the Sanctuary of Santa Augusta, while on the left there is a neo-Gothic portico with a well in the centre. Inside is the Chapel of Saint Augusta Virgin and Martyr, which is the oldest part of the Sanctuary and is completely covered in superb 15th century frescos. The relics of the Saint are worshipped here. The symbols of the Four Evangelists and the Mystic Lamb appear on the cross vault. On the south wall is a fresco of St. Remigius entrusting the Virgin Mary with a group of penitents from the “Confraternita dei Battuti” (a flagellant brotherhood). On the north wall is a Madonna Enthroned between two Angels and donors. Finally, on the back wall a large Crucifixion scene stands out.
Behind the altar is the old Tomb of the Saint. It is supported by two columns with Gothic capitals and features interesting bas-relief decoration. On the main altar is a beautiful altarpiece by Gasperino Sanfiori showing The Blessed Virgin with Child, Saint Blaise and Saint Augusta. On the altar on the portico side is another altarpiece. It is by G. Francesconi and shows The Madonna Enthroned with Child, Saint Blaise and Saint Peregrine.
The large expanse of grass and paved areas around the sanctuary was once extremely famous and is still a destination for pilgrims (the Saint’s day is celebrated on 22 August). There are views stretching from the pass of Serravalle to the Revine Lago, from Val Lapisina to Col Visentin and, in the south, the town of Vittorio Veneto and the plain.
According to a local tradition, anyone suffering from a headache can be cured by putting their head in the gate that marks the spot where a stone urn containing the bones of the saint once stood.
(Source: “Vittorio Veneto, guida illustrata della città e dintorni” by Vicenzo Ruzza)