The sanctuary of Saint Franca from Vitalta is located at 1.100 meters above sea level, in Colombello on the Santa Franca mountain.
The previous sanctuary, dedicated to Virgin Mary, was the inner church built on top of the mountain, where Franca lived for a few years.
In 1214, namely, Franca decided to follow the example of Carenzia Visconti, who founded a female cistercian monastery on top of the Montelana (old name of Santa Franca mountain). She received the naming as abbess of the monastery.
About 250 meters from the building, there’s still a water source, where Franca and her nuns collected the water for their daily needs.
According to the tradition, this water has miraculous properties, so much that it’s custom to drink it, collecting it and storage it as a shooting for the sickness of the eyes. All the surrounding area is a faithfull and worship spot for people.
The current building is composed by a side arcade, which is overcome by an octagonal dome. Inside there’s a sculpture of Saint Franca, worshipped as a protector of children and represented as a cistercian abbess.
Franca was declared Saint Patron of the high Arda Valley. Since many centuries she is celebrated on the mountain which is titled to her ( named ‘Montelana’ before). The celebrations take place on the first and the last Sundays of August, with a big feast enhanced by pilgrimages and religious services.