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Last update 19/09/2014 (ref.90002166)
by the local editorial office of Unione di Comuni Valli Dolo Dragone e Secchia
Via Rocca, 1 - 41045 Montefiorino (MO)
Telefono: 0536/962727 Fax: 0536/965312 Email:

There are written records of Pietravolta as one of the places standing on the Via Bibulca dating back as far as 1222. An agreement drawn up between Modena and Lucca about the maintenance of this road also mentions �Locum dictum Pietravolta� in the area of Roncogisfredo. Already back in the seventeenth century there was a painting of the Virgin Mary held in a chapel named after the Blessed Virgin of the Snow which was believed to be miraculous. This chapel, lying on the mountain ridge which separates the Dolo Valley to the west from the Dragone Valley to the east, and which marks the boundary between the dioceses of Reggio Emilia and Modena, was much fought over by the parish priest of Arcivolto, in the diocese of Modena, and the parish priest of Fontanaluccia, in the diocese of Reggio Emilia. In May 1642, the venerated image of the Virgin of Pietravolta was stolen by the people of Arcovolto during the night and put in their church. The people of Fontanaluccia stole it back again in the following November and put it in their Church, where it was put on display for a few days before being hidden away in a secret place. The dispute was eventually put before the vicars of the two neighbouring dioceses, who resolved it in favour of Fontanaluccia. The rector of Fontanaluccia could then give back the miraculous painting to the small community of Pietravolta, to be placed in a new, larger chapel which had, in the meantime, been built next to the first, by now tumbledown. A century and a half later, this second church also threatened to fall down due to the damage of time and the instability of the ground it stood on; thus a third church was built in 1792 a short distance away. In 1850 the custodian at the time, Brother Pacifico da Giuncugnano, endowed this new church with a bell tower (as is testified in writing in situ). During the middle of the twentieth century, the church was enlarged, with the addition of a transept, an apse, and unusual square-shaped dome cladding, and embellished with medieval-style architectural and sculptural elements and sculptures in pietra serena sandstone, both on the lower fa�ade in the form of small arches on small supporting columns, and in the interior. More recent restoration work, dating to 1979, includes the construction of the colonnade with wooden architraves and reinforced concrete columns on the left side of the parvis.