According to a popular tradition, at the end of a stormy night on the summit of the hill—littered with caves used by farmers for shelter and storage—facing the present-day sanctuary, a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary suddenly appeared. After it was taken to the Collegiate Church of St Justine inside the walled town, the image miraculously returned to its original location near the caves.The repetition of the miracle eventually led to the construction of a sanctuary on the site. Aside from this tradition, a record dating from 1679 states that one Clemente Briganti, a brother of the Confraternity of Mercy in Mondolfo, decided to install, for ‘mere devotion’, a statue of Our Lady of the Rosary in the so-called farm ‘of the caves’ belonging to the confraternity. Along with their growing devotion to the image, the townsfolk began attributing a series of miracles to its intercession, as a result of which a sanctuary was erected in 1682 with funds collected from the faithful and the confraternity. A constant stream of pilgrims from Mondolfo’s territory began flocking to the sanctuary, and even sailors made a habit of pleading the Virgin Mary for protection when sailing past Mondolfo’s coast. The interior of the sanctuary contains a large wooden altar, probably dating from the same period as the sanctuary, decorated in the Baroque style, which ably conveys the iconographic theme represented, namely the Virgin Mary’s status of ‘queen of heaven and earth in the glory of the angels and saints’, as recited during the rosary. The facade of the sanctuary, nestled among a large pine forest a stone’s throw from the sea, has golden ratio proportions and is decorated with finely-worked sandstone windows and portal, while the stairs leading to the church include some slabs recovered from Mondolfo’s fortress, designed by Martini, which once arose near place of worship. Visited each year by pilgrims even from beyond the Cesano River Valley and the diocese of Senigallia (to which the sanctuary belongs), the sanctuary solemnly celebrates Our Lady of the Caves with special feasts held every ten years. The celebrations include a series of religious, social, cultural and folklore events that attract thousands of devotees and visitors to Mondolfo. In 1997, Pope John Paul II personally crowned the head of Our Lady of the Caves in St Peter’s Square in Rome, as commemorated by the memorial slab inside the church.