We visited an incredible church just before our train ride though the Alps. When you walk down the main street, Viale Italia, towards the Swiss border, you will see the Church/Basilica. Our tour guide treated us with a visit both inside and out. This was not a regularly scheduled part of the tour, but he wanted us to see this beautiful work of art. We were certainly glad he shared it with us. Here is a paste of information about the church below:
"According to tradition, in the twilight hours of the 29th September 1504 the Virgin Mary appeared to Mario Omodei of Tirano promising an end to the plague upon condition that a shrine would be built in her honour on the exact spot where the Virgin Mary appeared, near the Folla bridge and outside the walls of the city. The people of Tirano, comforted by a series of ‘miraculous’ events, galvanized so much so that during a solemn ceremony on 25 March 1505, the first stone was laid at the bottom of the small medieval church of Santa Perpetua.
The sanctuary with three cross-shaped naves is the most beautiful example of the Renaissance in Valtellina. It is rich with stuccatures and sculptural works, a colossal organ, and its priceless etching, which begun in 1608 by Giuseppe Bulgarini of Brescia and finished in 1638 by G.B Salmoiraghi of Milan. Thanks to its location the sanctuary has always been full of visitors from all across Europe. In 1946 Pope Pio XII described the Virgin Mary of Tirano as the “special patron saint of all of Valtellina”."