Southern façade

Southern façade

The southern side of the basilica is enriched with the original and elegant façade of the "Salve Regina", from which you access the lower part. Mary is here glorified as the mother of hope and mercy. The prayer is engraved on the stones of the pinkish walls, starting with the first upper line. At the centre you can make out a picturesque balcony opening onto the upper basilica. Immediately below, the life size bronze statue of the Holy Virgin, by the Italian Franco Verroca, shows Mary as a young girl, as she would have been at the moment of the Annunciation.

Before the bronze door there is a small pronaos decorated with mosaic and marble, a work by the US F. Shardy. This is divided into lots of tiles and narrates the life of Our Lady; it is a gift from the United States of America. The figure of the Virgin Mary is glorified on the shutters via the scenes of her life from childhood to the Assumption, and the image of Mary as "Mater Ecclesiæ", who protects the universal church with her coat, represented by a large group of holy buildings.

At the sides of the atrium there are two mosaics: one represents the image of the "Navis Salutis" of Peter while the other features the harp of King David. Both the images recall the elements of ancient tradition, particularly the Boat that represents the Church crossing the waters without ever sinking.

Southern façade