Monte Sant'Angelo

Info Monte Sant'Angelo

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  • Apulia


    Monte Sant'Angelo



    245,13 Kmq


    Piazza Municipio 2

The old town centre of Monte Sant'Angelo develops around the Archangel’s cave

Monte Sant’Angelo stands on a 800 metres high rocky spur of the Gargano and it is a U.N.E.S.C.O. World Heritage Site; it develops in the 5th century A.D. and it is indissolubly linked with the cult of Saint Michael, the Archangel. According to the tradition, the Archangel appeared in a cave in 490, 492, 493, to Lorenzo, Bishop of Siponto: that cave represents the heart of the present shrine of Saint Michael.

In order to give hospitality to many pilgrims reaching the cave covering the sacra via Longobardorum, some refuges were built which became the early houses of the town. Afterwards the town expanded on the slopes of the hill, creating a labyrinth of alleys and steps: it is the so called district Junno. The shrine of Saint Michael probably developed during the 5th century so that the Longobard dukedom of Benevento declared it National Shrine.

From 662 to 687 the duke Romualdo I financed the realization of a stairway to reach the cave and the altar with Saint Michael’s footprints. During the Middle Ages a huge number of noble figures arrived on the Monte Gargano: popes, leaders, emperors, saints. It is worth mentioning a very particular present made by the nobleman Pantaleone, from Amalfi: two magnificent bronze doors, melted in Costantinopoli in 1076, engraved with episodes of the Old and New Testament about angels’ interventions in the story of mankind.

The present entrance with arcades and the octagonal bell tower, which reminds of the towers of Castel del Monte, were built by Carlo I d’Angiò. He realized also new stairs, excavated in the rock, to reach the Basilica from the top. Through the lower arcade and the bronze doors you enter the Angevin nave, a stone structure leaning against the natural cave where the statue of Saint Michael, probably by Sansovino, and the 12th century Bishop’s throne are kept.

On the upper zone of the town, we find the castle marked by a pentagonal tower, dating back to the Norman age. It is worth mentioning the medieval church of Santa Maria Maggiore with its Romanesque façade, showing beautiful decorations with pilasters and rhombs and an elegant portal adorned by a carved prothyrum.

Next to the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, there is the so called “Rotari’s grave” that, despite the name, is a baptistery, which dates back to the 12th century; it keeps excellent bas-relieves representing episodes of Jesus Christ’s Death and Resurrection.

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Useful information for tourists

Useful information for tourists in Apulia

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  • How to reach Apulia:

    By plane

    Bari Airport: Karol Wojtyla. Brindisi Airport: Papola Casale. Foggia Airport: Gino Lisa

    By train

    Trenitalia links the main Italian cities of Apulia

    On highway

    A14 from Bologna through Foggia and Bari to Taranto

    A16 from Napoli; in Canosa it converges with A14.

Secular olive-groves with crooked trunks appearing as real natural sculptures.

Secular olive-groves

Symbol of the flora of the whole region is the olive tree, which characterizes the territory from the Tavoliere to the end of the Salento with immense fields.

Secular olive-groves

The olive trees with their beauty and charm, given by their secular crooked trunks, embody the history of Apulia thanks to their millenarian presence on the territory. They are the oldest and largest group of millenarian vegetal specimens in the world.

Self- vegetation and animal species in Apulia.

Horse of the Murgia

A huge number of biotopes of vegetable and animal species characterizes the region, even if only the 7% of the territory has been declared protected area. The Apulian self-vegetation is marked by woods, the Mediterranean maquis and the so-called ganga (rocky pasture).

Pink flamingos in the salt marshes of Margherita di Savoia

The region shows two national parks: the Gargano National Park with many areas and reserves and the lakes of Lesina and Varano, and the Alta Murgia National Park.