Holidays characterised by spirituality and the interior search are ever more popular with tourists: they account for over 40 million tourists on pilgrimage, and add up to about 4 thousand million euros a year.
Religious tourism is in fact growing, and we are witnessing ever more pilgrims (or the just curious!) making their way to the most important shrines. Aimed at believers or historical enthusiasts, itineraries marked by faith and culture through churches and shrines are the most important ways to discover that part of Italian history which is ineluctably tied from antiquity to the history of the Catholic Church.
Religious tourism possesses strong regional roots and has developed a widespread network of hosting structures, accounting in fact for 12 percent of the national total. Destinations like Rome and San Giovanni Rotondo are subject to a noteable growth in pilgrimages, while Lazio, Veneto e Lombardy are the most favoured regions in the scale of “itineraries of faith and culture”. Reached via the ancient Roman roads Via Francigena (in the south) and Via Longobardorum, Rome has pride of place as the destination par excellence for religious pilgrimages; in second place is the Sanctuary of San Giovanni Rotondo in Puglia, the destination of the more than 6 million pilgrims who wend their way to the shrine of Saint (Padre) Pio.
Immersed in the incontaminated nature of the Val di Non, in the north Italian Region of Trentino, this sanctuary dedicated to St, Romedius is to be found in one of the most beautiful areas that make up the green jigsaw puzzle of the region.
Entranced by the charm of Florentine monastic buildings, explore the valley of Casentino, the ideal place for retreating in prayer, accommodated in the Camaldolite hermitage like the old pilgrims.
Situated in Padula in the Diano Valley in the province of Salerno and bordering on the province of Lucania, the Carthusian Monastery (or Charterhouse) of San Lorenzo dating to the thirteenth century is among the biggest and most famous in Italy and covers an area of about 52 thousand square metres. In 1998 the Monastery was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Retreat in prayer on Mount Subasio like St Francis and his companions, to meditate far from the temptations of worldly life.
A journey on the trail of the Latin motto “Ora et Labora”, in the picturesque countryside surrounding an old medieval village, where the body can become one with the spirit.
Manual work and the care and cure of the poor alongside prayer. This is how San Benedetto da Norcia, the father of the Benedictines and also nominated the patron saint of Europe, viewed life.
Come into contact with the profound spirituality which reigns in the important abbey of San Benedetto da Norcia, a sacred site dedicated to work and study.
Situated on a mountain dominating the Val di Susa, imposing and suggestive, rich in gothic and romanesque art, the Abbey of St. Michael is a place of rich spiritual and cultural interest.
In the varied environment of the Veneto region, where the mountains seem to gather together to form a crown, the tourist and pilgrim can experience the profound sorrow of the Virgin.
Four interconnected Marian shrines in Piemonte allow one to embark on a sacred itinerary of various kinds.
In the unspoilt countryside of the Tuscan forestry park, the spirit finds a place in the Benedictine monastery, where it can rediscover its more profound dimension.
Explore tranquil sites in Umbria, the verdant heart of Italy, a land where the body can rediscover the spirit.