Monte Sant’Angelo is situated at 800 m. above sea level. It is surrounded by the Tavoliere, in the west, and the Adriatic coast of Manfredonia’s Gulf, in the south.
It was found on a calcareous stone and in its inner, we can see numerous caves such as the cave of Saint Michael.
According to the tradition, in 493 Lorenzo Maiorano, bishop of Siponto, consecrated this cave to the Archangel; in the second part of VI century, the church of Saint Michael with “Via Sacra Longobardorum”, became destination of pilgrimages. This place was venerated by guides, princes, kings and popes.
The place was built close to the Saint Cave ( Santa Grotta). In the beginning, only some “mansioni” ( little houses) were built here in order to give hospitality to the pilgrims. The most picturesque structure of the town is the Basle Palatina, in which the marble statue of Saint Michael is kept.
In 1274, Carlo d’Angiò ordered the construction of a bell tower near the church. We can come to visit the castle with its famous “tower of Giants”.
Places to see:
– Saint Michael Church
– Bell tower of the Angevin Age
– Rotary’s tomb
– The castle
– The Junno place
– The abbey of Saint Mary in Pulsano
– Gathering folklore (10-20 agoust)
– Feast of Saint Michael (8 may e 29 september)
– Feast of St. Joseph (18 march).
San Giovanni Rotondo
It is situated in the south- west of Gargano at 566 m. above the sea level.
Its foundation goes back at XI century and initially here pilgrims, who wants to arrive at Monte, could relax.
Under the power of Federico II, the town conquered strategic importance and was fortified through a town-walls composed by 15 towers, still visible in the inner of the town.
However, the major urbanistic expansion of San Giovanni Rotondo goes back in the first years of ‘900, thanks to the presence of Padre Pio from Pietralcina, in the monastery of Capuchins. He is venerated because of his spiritual life and his humanitarian and religious initiatives. The foundation of the hospital called “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” was one of these. It is one of the most important and equipped hospital in the south of Italy. Padre Pio also wanted the construction of a sanctuary called “Santa Maria delle Grazie”, built close to the monastery of Capuchins.
Attracted by the humanitarian experiences of Padre Pio, pilgrims made possible the birth of numerous commercial and artisan activities and also efficient receptive structures.
Then a new church was built and inaugurated on first July 2004. It receives a large number of faithfuls. So the dream of Padre Pio is realized.
Places to see:
– Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
– Church of San Giovanni or della Rotonda
– Ruins of town-walls with its towers
– Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (hospital)
– Via Crucis and the statue of Padre Pio
– New Church planned by Renzo Piano
– Feast of Madonna delle Grazie(8 September)
– Feast of Saint John the Baptist(24 Juny)
– Anniversary of Padre pio’s birth(25 may)
– Anniversary of Padre Pio’s death(23 september9)