The city of Este is intimately linked to devotion to the Madonna: bearing witness to it is the presence of extraordinary monuments such as the Basilica delle Grazie or the Madonna della Salute, but also many other sites linked to ‘legendary’ apparitions and miracles, such as the Madonna del Pilastro and the apparition to Giovanni da Zello that gave origin to the Sanctuary del Tresto.
The itinerary starts from Via Ca’ Mori. Tradition has it that here the Madonna appeared to the boatman Giovanni Zello da Ponso and that, having led him to the open countryside at Tresto, she asked him to build the sanctuary that conserves an elegant fifteenth-century panel painting of the Madonna and Child by Jacopo da Montagnana.
Marian Shrine par excellence of the city is the nearby Basilica delle Grazie. Located in the centre of the apse and visible from the entrance, the icon representing the Madonna with Child is the devotional, emotional and artistic heart of the church. The story tells of how the Cretan-Byzantine panel got to Este, dating it to the year 1460.
In a hall of the National Museum we can admire the Madonna with Child by Cima da Conegliano.
The image which is venerated in the church of the Madonna della Salute was instead painted in 1626 at the behest of Giovanni Antonio Capovino (1576-1654, a priest from 1642) on a pillar of the boundary wall of his estate; it is the work of Giulio De Rossi.
Similar to that of the Madonna della Salute is the origin of the Church of the Madonna del Pilastro. In fact, the late fifteenth-century image is older than the church itself and it can be attributed to the school of Jacopo da Montagnana. As a result of events considered to be miraculous, the edification of the church was promoted, which preserves in its original ‘pillar’ (support wall), the fresco in a niche in the centre of the apse.
The sanctuary del Tresto di Ospedaletto Euganeo was built between 1468 and 1469, at the place which the tradition claims that Our Lady herself had indicated to Giovanni da Zello, to whom the Blessed Virgin appeared in Este.