Sarsina Cathedral – Sarsina, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Sarsina Cathedral

Sarsina, Italy

The collar worn by a fourth-century saint resides in this church, and is still used for blessings to this day.  

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The small town of Sarsina, located among the Appennines, is notable for being the hometown of Roman playwright Plautus. It is also the location where Saint Vicinius withdrew as a hermit during the 4th century. The saint was the bishop of Sarsina from about 303 until his death in 330.

Saint Vicinius was famously known for his many miracles. According to stories regarding his life, Vicinius was able to heal physical and mental illnesses and expel demons using a collar or chain, weighted with a stone he wore as a penance. The collar is still located in the town of Sarsina and is still used for blessings and exorcisms. Modern studies conducted on the collar have confirmed the age of the artifact.

The collar is kept in the Sarsina Cathedral, also known as Saint Vicinius Cathedral. The church was constructed between the 10th and 11th century over a pre-existing building dating to the glory days of Rome.

The Romanesque building is composed of bricks, with an austere interior adorned with paintings and mosaics mostly representing Saint Vicinius and his collar. Relics of the saint are kept in the altar and the crypt, while the chain is located in the tabernacle.

Know Before You Go

The church's hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.