Near Genga and the Frasassi Caves, in the Marche region, stands the charming and fascinating temple of Valadier, located entirely within a cave.
Built in 1828 by Pope Leo XII, its shape and location certainly make it a great source of attraction for anyone who happens to be in the area. It seems that the idea of building the temple comes from a long tradition among the inhabitants of the area, who already in the tenth century withdrew into these cavities to protect themselves and take refuge from war and looting.
Pope Leo XII, originally from Genga, had the temple built here, on the basis of a project by the architect Giuseppe Valadier, as a refuge for Christians who want to ask for forgiveness; hence the name "refuge for sinners".
The octagonal structure, with a lead roof, houses inside a Madonna and Child sculpted by Canova's workshop, now replaced by a copy.
Next to the temple stands Santa Maria infra Saxa, an ancient hermitage dug out of the rocks that was born as a cloistered monastery of Benedictine nuns and that seems to date back to the 1000's.