For The inhabitants of Bevagna but also of Gualdo Cattaneo and other neighbouring villages, the sanctuary of the Madonna della Valle is a significant place of worship and until the end of 1980 Mass and weddings were celebrated; In addition, on 1st May people met with the whole family to attend mass and eat outdoors, immersed in the green of an uncontaminated nature and in a forest of oaks and chestnuts.
Many people walked from Torre del Colle, even from Bevagna and Gualdo and it was also an opportunity to take a long walk with friends. 1st May was a special day, cheered also by the marching band, while in front of the sanctuary kiosks of roast pork vendors alternated with stalls of toys for children, who used to play ball on the front porch of the church.
After the last works around the 70s, the sanctuary of Madonna della Valle has been in a state of abandonment for a long time because of the neglect of time and especially after the earthquake of 1997 that made it unfit because of the numerous cracks that affected the whole structure.
The current Municipal Administration has included the Sanctuary in a project that provides for its restructuring from 2019.
Safety works has already begun and there will be a redevelopment of the Sanctuary, built in the 1930s.
Padre Ignazio Gasparrini left us a booklet in which he tells the story of the sanctuary of Madonna della Valle from its foundation in 1212, as attested by a document he found in the Archive of the Municipality of Bevagna. After the Preach of San Francesco in the territory of Bevagna, Napoleone, son of Count Rainaldo, donated land for the construction of the church of Santa Maria, which for about three centuries is object of worship and then abandoned for unknown reasons.
Another document found by Gasparrini in the Municipal Archives of Bevagna, dated 1546, says that the sanctuary is resurrected again by Silvestro Perantoni from Bevagna (also known as Stracciato).
From a document of the Municipal Archive of Bevagna, always reported by Gasparrini and dated August 31, 1556, it appears that, after heated controversies, the patronate of the sanctuary is ceded by Antonio, son of Silvestro Perantoni, to the Municipality, which maintains it for many years.
There is no news for a long time, it is only known that in 1850 the chaplain, who officiates the sanctuary is Don Giovanni Bartoli. Once again abandoned, in 1880 a young man from Torre del Colle, te 14-year-old, Pierino Stortini, found this church covered by brambles while collecting wood in the woods with his father and decided to restore it, freeing it from the vegetation and fixing the roof. The word that the image of The Virgin is miraculous and that in the church sacred songs are heard quickly spread, so in a short time it is filled with people in prayer and pilgrims from nearby places. Still today the sanctuary of Madonna della Valle is a place of great devotion on the part of many faithful.
Annarita Falsacappa, Giovanni Mariotti, Paolo Porzi – BEVAGNA GEMMA DEL PIANO. Immagini insolite e storie inedite – Dimensione Grafica Editrice – 2013 – pp. 245-258.