San Giovanni Rotondo

San Giovanni Rotondo

San Giovanni Rotondo it's famous in the world because is the place where the remains of San Pio from Pietrelcina, Capuchin priest, who lived for about 50 years in the town of Gargano.

Submerged in the green of the National Park of Gargano and resting on the heights of the hills close to the Monte Calvo, the city of San Giovanni is set in the middle of a beautiful natural scenery. Going back in time, to discover the origins of this town, we go back to the year 1000. It was founded on the ruins of a pre-existing 4th century BC village; visible signs of this village still remain, such as some graves and a circular baptistery that was formerly intended for the worship of Janus, later consecrated to San Giovanni.

The city went through various events, until in 1916 the then very young arrived there Padre Pio. He dedicated his life to the service of the Church, promoting the birth of Prayer Groups and the creation of charitable works, first of all the Hospital "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenzadefinedtemple of prayer and science by Padre Pio himself. Inaugurated on May 5, 1956, the hospital has been recognized as a "Scientific Hospitalization and Treatment Institute" for over a decade and has over a thousand beds.

The hospital is located near the two churches dedicated to Santa Maria delle Grazie, where Padre Pio lived and worked, and the new church designed by Renzo Piano and completed in 2004.

The historic center of San Giovanni is a part of the city in its own right, for those accustomed to frequenting it for the sacred places linked to the cult of Padre Pio. The ancient part of the city develops in a network of narrow bonds and suggestive corners which reproduce images of an ancient past. Its heritage of churches is important, including what was originally the pagan temple dedicated to the god Janus, later consecrated by pilgrims who passed along the Via Sacra Longobardorum, in San Giovanni Battista. The current name of the town derived from the shape of this church, consisting of a round baptistery.

The environmental setting in which San Giovanni Rotondo is set offers nature-loving visitors suggestive scenarios, unique in the promontory.

A short distance from the town, there is a fascinating naturalistic phenomenon: the Grava di Campolato, one of the numerous karst caves on the Gargano, the deepest of those in Puglia. Close to the town it stands out instead Monte Calvo (1065 m), the highest peak of the Gargano promontory; from its top, on the clearest days, you can witness a unique panorama: the view embraces the Tremiti Islands at north and the gulf of Manfredonia in south