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Isola di Barbana, Grado

(4.2/5 based on 150+ reviews on the web)
Barbana is a small island located at the northern end of the Grado Lagoon, near Trieste in north-east Italy. It is the site of the Santuario di Barbana, an ancient Marian shrine, whose origins date back to 582 when Elia, the Patriarch of Aquileia, built a church near the hut of a hermit from Treviso named Barbanus. The island, which can be easily reached by ferry from nearby Grado, is populated by a small community of Franciscan friars.History of the shrineThe foundation of the shrine originates from an image of the Virgin Mary carried in by the sea and found at the foot of an elm after a fierce storm. At that time the site was part of the mainland; the Grado Lagoon was formed between the 5th and 7th centuries.From the foundation to around 1000, Barbana became an island and the shrine was served by a community of monks unique to the island, called the Barbitani. The original church was destroyed by floods and rebuilt. The image of Mary, too, was lost and in the 11th century was replaced by a wooden statue known as the Madonna mora. This Black Madonna is now housed in the Domus Mariae (House of Mary), a chapel near the main church.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Island accessible by ferries departing every hour from Grado. Beautiful island and good little restaurant where you can have lunch at modest prices.
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  • The island is small, but fine! The staff is friendly! A wide choice of dishes, but what is available, this is good
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  • Ancient shrine, located on the island of Barbana, where, according to tradition, an image of the Virgin miraculously was recovered. The current church, in Romanesque style, is recent. The Interior, with three naves, retains the oldest artwork as the beautiful altar of the beginning of the 18th century and the beautiful wooden statue, depicting the Madonna and child, which dates back to the 15th century. The valuable frescoes of the dome, from the modern era, are the painter Tiburzio Donadon.
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