In 1988, Pope John Paul II proclaimed the church of Saint Mary of the Assumption in Montecatini Terme a minor basilica. Raffaello Fagnoni, Pierluigi Spadolini, Mario Negri and Alfonso Stocchetti designed it. To build it between 1953 and 1958, Luigi de Cambray Digny’s neoclassical church, dating back to 1833, was destroyed. The original building was preceded by a simple facade, shielded by an ionic portico, and streamlined by a large semi-circular window.
Saint Mary of the Assumption, which has a tall belltower, has an octagonal plan with four chapels on the sides of the chancel, where a lantern with a spherical covering stands. The building has a very imposing look due to its supporting structures made with reinforced concrete, lined with travertine. Inside, two of the sights worth noting are the stained glass windows by painter Giorgio Scalco and the crucifix by Florentine sculptor Sauro Cavallini, found at the back of the chancel.
[For more information: www.basilicasantamariaassunta.it]