Colloquially known as “La Consla,” the Sanctuary of the Consolata (Santuario della Consolata) is an important site of Catholic worship, an architectural feat, and a key Turin landmark whose history dates back millennia. Rebuilt, remodeled, and expanded throughout the centuries, the Santuario della Consolata is unlike any other local basilica.
The Santuario della Consolata is both an important Turin landmark and a time capsule that represents different stages of the city’s history. A church has stood on the site of the Santuario della Consolata—which abuts Turin’s ancient, Roman walls—since the fifth century. Later renovations transformed the church into a sanctuary, dedicated to the worship of the Virgin Mary. It was expanded by architect Guarino Guarini in the 17th century, Filippo Juvarra contributed to its baroque interior in the 18th century, and its neoclassical facade dates to the 19th century. Today, the basilica displays a compelling mash-up of architectural styles, each a testament to a unique moment in Turin history.
The church is included on walking tours that focus on Turin highlights; given its convenient, central location, it can also be explored independently.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Santuario della Consolata was damaged by an RAF bombing in 1943 but has since been repaired.
- The church became a site of Marian worship after a blind man was said to have regained his sight after witnessing an apparition of the Virgin Mary in the 12th century.
- One of the oldest portions of the church is its bell tower, which dates to the 11th century.
- A volunteer group hosts free guided tours in several languages that are available upon request.
How to Get There
The Santuario della Consolata can easily be reached on foot, by bike, or by taxi. It is also served by tram numbers 3, 4, and 16 CD as well as bus lines 5, 11, 19, 27, 51, 57, 92, N04, W60, and STAR 2.
When to Get There
The church is open to visitors and to worshipers daily. It celebrates Mass throughout the day, as well as other religious ceremonies; it is best to avoid visiting when a service is in session.
Stepping Inside the Santuario della Consolata
During your next visit, don’t just admire the Santuario della Consolata from the outside: Its interior is richly, sumptuously decorated, from its ceiling frescoes to its gilded detailing. The church’s interior highlight is its opulent altar, which features marble sculptures by Carlo Antonio Tantardini and an icon of the Virgin Mary.