Territory of Monte Sant'Angelo


The Gargano is a land endowed with a particular charm, not only for the splendid nature and the crystalline sea, but also because it hosts mystical places of great value.

It&rsquos; an example is Monte Sant’Angelo, famous for the Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo, a pilgrimage destination for Christian faithful for centuries.

According to tradition, a rich shepherd had lost a bull and found it again after a few days inside a cave. He decided to shoot it down and shot & ograve; an arrow to kill the animal, but inexplicably the arrow returned; back hurting him. The man, shocked, confided in him. with the bishop of the place, who ordered; to all three days of penance. On the third day the Archangel Michael appeared to the bishop and declared the cave sacred place, from which he would have protected the locals.

The Sanctuary originates from the first apparition of the Archangel Michael and over the centuries, under various dominations, it underwent constant changes, to reach its current appearance and become the destination of an incredible flow of Christian pilgrims.

In the 17th century it became the most important center of the city. important in the Gargano.

The structure of the Shrine is designed and built. it consists of an upper level, which includes the facade and the bell tower, and a lower level which is accessed via the wide and long staircase of 89 steps that leads to the cave, the devotional museum and the crypts.

Monte Sant’Angelo also arouses great interest for other mystical places and monuments to be admired, distributed throughout the urban fabric: the Complex of San Pietro, formed by the Baptistery of San Giovanni and the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the second pole linked to the cult and to the devotion in the Gargano town; the Castle of Monte Sant’Angelo, an imposing structure that still preserves the hull tower and the Treasure Room, probably dedicated to parties and banquets in ancient times.

Of great interest is the; also the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions, located in the former convent of San Francesco, which preserves costumes, tapestries, furnishings, tools and handicraft and goldsmith objects, evidence of the life of the people of the Gargano.

Info: www.santuariosanmichele.it - www.montesantangelo.com

Discover Monte Sant'Angelo

Monte Sant’Angelo also arouses great interest for other mystical places and monuments to be admired, distributed throughout the urban fabric

What to do & See in Monte Sant'Angelo

A Territory to Discover

Among the main buildings, undoubtedly worth visiting, are the Basilica of San Michele Arcangelo, a Unesco heritage site and the Swabian Norman Castle, but you will find much more to visit.

The History of Monte Sant'Angelo

The entire suggestion of its history merges with the consecration and the events of a church dedicated in 493 - according to tradition - to the Archangel Michael.

The first nucleus of the church would have been built by Lorenzo Maiorano, bishop of Siponto, in memory of the victoriously opposed resistance by his city to a barbarian incursion, thanks to the apparition of the Archangel Michael in a cave on the Monte. According to a more recent tradition, the church was built in the second half of the century. VI on an older Basilian abbey, in the context of a political-religious reorganization of the Lombard duchy of Benevento, which made the church of S. Michele the national sanctuary of the Lombards of southern Italy.

From this period, therefore, it became the destination of an intense tradition of pilgrimages that has continued up to the present day.

Basilica of San Michele Arcangelo (350 metres)
(UNESCO heritage)

The Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and has welcomed uninterrupted pilgrimages from all over the world to Monte Sant'Angelo since the 5th century.

It is one of the most famous places sacred to the Archangel in the world, set on the route of the ancient Via Sacra Langobardorum. It stands on a hill, surrounded by the typical impervious and verdant landscape of the Gargano, where the white facade welcomes pilgrims with two large arches, surmounted by a niche with the statue of San Michele.

From the vestibule, you enter the 86-step staircase that leads to the Sacred Grotto, place of the apparitions of San Michele and the heart of the sanctuary. Here you can read an inscription with the words of the Archangel who forever consecrated this mystical place: "Where the rock opens up, there the sins of men will be forgiven".

The Baroque altar of the Blessed Sacrament and that of the Virgin are added to the magnificent high altar dominated by the marble statue depicting the Prince of Heavenly Hosts.

Swabian Norman Castle (150 meters)

The castle was the residence of princes of the Honor Sancti Angeli lordship: it belonged to Rainulfo (count of Aversa) and then to Robert Guiscard who, after having surrounded the city with walls, had the most part rebuilt in the 11th century ancient, the tower of the Giants, pentagonal in shape, 18 meters high and with walls 3 meters thick.

The structure was assuming importance in the defense of the Gargano one of the three Castra exempta (privileged). It hosted Frederick II of Swabia and his favourite, the Countess Bianca Lancia of Turin, and for this reason it presents impressive but refined architectural works in Frederick's style, as evidenced by the thirteenth-century room of the "Treasury" with a central pillar and ogival vaults.

Pulsano Abbey (2 km)

The abbey of Santa Maria di Pulsano is a monastic complex located on the Gargano. His hermitages are places of the FAI heart. The feast of the Madonna di Pulsano takes place on 8 September: the faithful leave from Monte Sant'Angelo and reach the abbey on the backs of mules.

The monastery also has a guesthouse to accommodate a limited number of pilgrims for short periods of retreat.

Rione Junno (700 meters)

Rione Junno is a millennial neighborhood, full of small terraced houses. The houses were born as a refuge for pilgrims of San Michele and had a maximum size of 30 meters.

In the past they were inhabited by very large families, up to 10 people. All the houses were equipped with a cistern system that collected rainwater, used for domestic use.

Rione Junno is located in a strategic position to visit the main attractions of Monte Sant'Angelo. Park your car and set off to discover.

The Basilica of San Michele, the Castle and the M.E.T.A. are just a few minutes walk away.

Local Gastronomy

Apulian cuisine is characterized above all by the importance given to raw materials, both land and sea, and by the fact that all the ingredients are precisely aimed at enhancing and not altering the basic flavors of the products used.

Even if there are some common dishes, the recipes vary from province to province, and sometimes from city to city, so for example the typical recipes of the provinces of Taranto, Brindisi and Bari, lying on the sea, are not the same as those practiced in the province of Foggia, which is more hilly, and of Lecce, which is more earthy.

There are many recipes that this cuisine presents, which then has a particularity that distinguishes it from the others, to offer different dishes in relation to the different seasons, so that during the milder seasons, i.e. in spring and summer, it is given preference for vegetables and fish, while in the others legumes predominate, homemade pasta seasoned with various sauces, alone or combined with vegetables or fish.

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