News and Itineraries
San Giovanni Rotondo
Padre Pio and San Giovanni Rotondo: Padre Pio, today Saint Pio, was born in Pietrelci-na (BN) and moved in July 1916 at a very young age to the Monastery of the Capuchin Monks in San Giovanni Rotondo, remaining there until his death.
Today it is possible to visit:
- The Cell he occupied in the monastery
- The Confessional Box and the Altar, where he carried out his uninterrupted sacer-dotal duties, and the Crucifix where he received the Stigmata, in the Ancient Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie of the Capuchin Monastery
- The crypt with the sepulchre where he was buried just after his death, in the new Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, consecrated in 1959, where he celebrated the last Mass the day before the night in which he died on 23 September 1968
- It is possible to venerate his holy remains in the crypt of the big new Church of San Pio di Pietrelcina, designed and built by the architect Renzo Piano
- Finally, in groups it is possible to visit, the Hospital “Casa Sollievo della Soffer-enza” (Home for Relief of the Suffering), Padre Pio’s great work on earth, by means of a guided tour which illustrates the Specialised Disciplines and Services of which it is provided, telling how the hospital was created and speaking about the closest collaborators of Saint Pio during its construction, today the Institute of Hospitalisation and Treatment for Scientific Purposes, and the Health Centre of Excellence.
A town, rich in history and traditions, only 25 km from San Giovanni Rotondo, rising around the Shrine of San Michele Arcangelo, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its origins dating back to the VI century, and which in the VII century the Longobardi recog-nised as their National Shrine, spreading the cult of San Michele in the whole of Europe, so much so that in the X century it became an essential stop of the “Via Fran-cigena” which from Mont Saint Michel in France led to Jerusalem.
As well as the shrine with the remarkable “Grotto of San Michele Arcangelo” it is worth vis-iting:
- The Rotary Tomb, a XII century baptistery.
- The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore.
- The Svevo-Angioino Castle, dating back to the IX century.
- Junno: the medieval neighbourhood which dates back to the VI century with its characteristic white terraced houses and chimneypots, narrow streets, archways, courtyards, steps and little squares full of charm.
- The “Belvedere” viewpoint with a breath-taking panorama over the gulf of Manfre-donia and the mountain terraces.
- The Abbey of Pulsano, built in 591, which overlooks the Hermitages scattered on the ridge of the valley.
The Umbra Forest
A green lung of over 5,000 hectares in the heart of the Gargano National Park made up of centuries-old Beech trees (the tallest reaching a height of 40 m. with a circumference at its base of about 5 m.), Turkey Oaks and Maple trees, and in the lower part of Holm Oaks and Tilia, characterised by an irregular orography where small rocky mounts alternate with depressions, into which rain water flows forming genuine little lakes. In the forest there is a Visitors’ Centre with an exhibition of prehistoric artefacts, stuffed specimens of the local wildlife, scale models and maps with outlines of numerous walk-ing trails.
Adjacent to this is a Fauna Oasis with deer and mouflons, and the Reconstruction of a coal-miners and lumberjacks’ village.