Mountain scenery in Maritime Alps near pilgrimage site and mountain hut Madone de Fenestre and near French national nature park Mercantour; Shutterstock ID 2394904581; full: digital; gl: 65050; netsuite: poi; your: Barbara Di Castro

Shutterstock / Nico Callens

La Madone de Fenestres

Parc National du Mercantour

At an altitude of 1904m, this impressively situated hilltop church was supposedly founded on the site where a local villager had a vision of the Virgin Mary; twice a year, on 15 August and 8 September, there's a solemn procession to commemorate the event. The statue of Mary inside is thought to have been carved from a Lebanese cedar in the 14th century. It's at the end of a winding 10km road leading east of St-Martin-Vésubie; look out for signs.

The church is also the starting point for a number of hiking trails, including several that run over the Italian border.

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