The Sanctuary of San Romedio grew from the little church to the popular pilgrimage shrine and basilica of the Santuario di San Romedio. San Romedio lived in the 4th century. He was a son of the Tyrolese count of Thaur but he withdrew to a rock cave in order to meditate. After the death of his parents, he gave away all of his possessions and established himself in the Val di Non (German Nonstal) in Trentino.
Romedius is often linked with a bear. The story is that his horse was torn to pieces by a wild bear. The bear became docile and carried Romedius on its back to Trento. In remembrance of this legend, in 1958 Italian Senator Gallarati Scotti, honorary member of the committee for the foundation of the World Wildlife Fund in Italy, purchased Charlie, a bear intended to be killed, and donated it to the Sanctuary of San Romedio, in the Valle di Non.