The Temple of Valadier, set in the rock, is located in an ancient cave in the gorge of Frasassi, in the town of Genga in the Marche region, Italy.
You can leave the car in a small parking spot along the road that enters the gorge. From there a walkway of about 700 meters climbs along the steep mountain walls, taking you to the cave.
Climbing up you will feel the temperature difference and at the top there is a chance it could be slightly windier and cooler, so I would recommend you to bring a little jacket.
The chosen place was an ancient refuge of the populations who hid there around the 10th century to avoid attacks and looting from the enemies that raged in the area.
The caves were discovered between the '700 and '800 when it became known the function they had in the past.
Then Pope Leo XII, native of the area, to remember it, decided in 1828 to entrust the project of a building, that would keep its memory, to the famous Roman architect Giuseppe Valadier, already known for his prestigious buildings in neoclassical style.
The temple is known indeed also as a "Refuge for Sinners", which acted as a pilgrimage site for those seeking forgiveness.
The small octagonal temple with a domed roof built in white travertine blocks rises in silent in the heart of the Natural Regional Park of Gola della Rossa and Frasassi.
Arrived at the entrance your view will be this.
Entering the cave you will realize the architectural masterpiece and the magnificent context in which it is located.
The interior originally housed a marble Madonna and Child attributed to the well-known Italian neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova; however, the original was moved to the local civic museum of Genga and a replacement was installed in the temple.
A few meters away from the building there is the older one, a small hermitage of the 1029 ca, excavated in the rock and dedicated to Santa Maria infra Saxa, that used to serve as a cloistered monastery of nuns Benedictine.