It sits on a hill the locals call sa tanchitta, outside of the historic quarters of Seuna and santu Pedru, a place much loved by the Nobel author Grazia Deledda. Santa Maria della Neve was constructed over the old and smaller church of Santa Maria Maggiore, which Bishop Giovanni Maria Bua decided to rebuild because it was too small to function as a Cathedral when Nuoro was elevated in rank to seat of a diocese. Although he blessed the cornerstone in 1835, a variety of events slowed the work down and it took almost twenty years for the new cathedral to be completed. The majestic building dominates a huge piazza. Twin towers stand on either side of the main gable.