San Giovanni Rotondo: trip to Padre Pio, what to see

What to see and do in San Giovanni Rotondo, travel and places to visit in the country linked to the figure of Padre Pio, in Puglia in the Park of Gargano.

Travel by Padre Pio

San Giovanni Rotondo, well known for the Sanctuary Padre Pio, is a country located in the Puglia region in the province of Foggia in Italy and is part of the area defined Gargano National Park. It was founded in 1095 on the ruins of an ancient village which are few visible signs including a circular baptistery and some tombstones. The recent history of San Giovanni Rotondo, a town in the province of Foggia in Puglia, is linked to the presence of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, proclaimed a saint by Pope John Paul II.

The virtuous and loved Friar Priest lived in the Convent of the Friars Minor Capuchin of San Giovanni Rotondo, from July 28, 1916, the day he arrived, to September 23, 1968, the day of his death. The international fame of San Giovanni Rotondo is due mainly to the figure of St. Pio. Before the foundation of the hospital Home for the Relief of Suffering, the local economy was mainly devoted to sheep farming and agriculture.

He later had great boost the tourism sector of Catholic pilgrimages linked to Padre Pio Petralcina, that every year counts the presence of millions of the faithful to venerate this saint. Padre Pio, whose name before becoming a friar was Francesco Forgione, was born in Pietrelcina May 25, 1887 and died in San Giovanni Rotondo September 23 1968. ‘highly revered among the saints of the Catholic Church and was part of the order of Friars Minor Capuchin.

The name was chosen by the friar Pio in honor of the Christian martyr venerated in what is now the Church of St. Anne in Pietrelcina. The personality of Padre Pio is described by those who knew him as a very open and full of great humanity, despite appearances that made it seem sometimes the opposite due to sudden changes in mood.

San Giovanni Rotondo has a long religious tradition also found in some periodic city festivals including the Dressing of the Madonna, which is held in the streets of the old town on the evening of August. Another holiday season strongly felt, that lasts three days 8 to 10 September, is the procession of Santa Maria delle Grazie, at which a painting of the Madonna delle Grazie is transported from the Convent of the Capuchin friars founded by Padre Pio up the Mother Church.

Places to visit in San Giovanni Rotondo

Church Our Lady of Grace
The construction of the convent and the church began in 1540, on land situated on a hill to the west of the town, donated to the Capuchin Fathers. The Church built in local stone of Montenero, was originally dedicated to St. Mary of the Angels, was expanded and July 5, 1676 dedicated to Our Lady of Grace. In 1959 he was consecrated a new church, always dedicated to Santa Maria delle Grazie, which is a single body with the ancient church. The construction was needed for the growing number of pilgrims coming to find Padre Pio when he was still alive. The turnout has not ceased after his death, and to contain the thousands of pilgrims who come to San Giovanni Rotondo was built, designed by architect Renzo Piano, a new church next to the convent and the church already existing.

Church San Pio San Giovanni Rotondo
The inauguration of the new church took place on 1 July 2004, after ten years of work, and was dedicated to St. Pio of Pietrelcina. In the crypt of the church is the body of the saint. Among the places to visit in San Giovanni Rotondo, in addition to the old town, is located about 25 Km. Away, the town of Monte Sant’Angelo, famous for the shrine of St. Michael the Archangel, within which there is the grotto of the apparitions of the Archangel Michael, occurred in the fifth century. The place became a pilgrimage destination since the sixth century, then in the year 1000 developed the urban center.

Things to do in San Giovanni Rotondo

In the historical center there are various tourist attractions to see including the Church of St. Joseph the Worker, the Church of St. Nicholas with its beautiful portal copper depicting some of the stages of the life of St. Nicholas, the Church of St. Catherine, the oldest the country, the Mother Church of San Leonardo, the main church with a portal where stands the statue of St. Michael the Archangel, the Church of St. Ursula, recently restored and very rich in history, the Church of Our Lady of Loreto , which tracks the location of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem in real size, the Church of St. Onofrio and the Church of St. John the Baptist, dating from the second and third century BC For history buffs is recommended a visit to the archaeological finds located the ancient village of Sant’Egidio and the Curvara.