On a holiday in San Giovanni Rotondo you’ll discover this charming town on the slopes of the Monte Calvo, in a valley nestled at the very centre of the Gargano.
The city owes its name to an ancient circular temple of Janus, on which the Lombards built the church dedicated to St. John the Baptist. Frederick II later built the city walls and 15 defence towers, once crenellated and today represented by the Cylindrical Tower, which now houses the Museum of Folk Art. San Giovanni Rotondo is closely tied to the figure of Padre Pio, as demonstrated by the new church designed by Renzo Piano, the convent, the monumental Via Crucis and many other centres of worship. Holidays in San Giovanni Rotondo are an excellent opportunity to spend a few days amid scenic landscapes but also places of historical, artistic and cultural interest.
The Gargano is not only a favourite destination for lovers of the sea and nature, it is also one of the most renowned Italian religious destinations. There are two main points of interest for visiting pilgrims: San Giovanni Rotondo and Monte Sant'Angelo. San Giovanni Rotondo has always been a place of passage since antiquity, although the waves of pilgrims began with the arrival of Padre Pio. A visit to San Giovanni Rotondo is a unique opportunity to retrace the key stages in the life of the saint.
Built in the western area of San Giovanni Rotondo, the Saint Mary of Graces Convent Complex includes the ancient monastery, the fifteenth century church and the new shrine, overlooking the square of the same name. The Convent, where Father Pio lived from 1916 until his death, stands beside the older church dedicated to Our Lady of Graces, constructed about a century later.
An extraordinary place of worship visited by millions of pilgrims every year, the Shrine of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina in San Giovanni Rotondo is the second biggest church in Italy, covering a total area of 6000 square metres. Not far from the historic shrine and the Convent of Saint Mary of Graces, the new Church of Saint Pio, which was inaugurated in 2004 after ten years of work, was designed by the celebrated architect Renzo Piano and financed almost entirely with donations made by pilgrims. This is where the remains of Saint Pio are kept today.
Monte Sant'Angelo, the highest point of the Gargano, is situated in a wonderful panoramic position on a southern spur of the promontory, with open views of the plateau to the west and the Gulf of Manfredonia to the south. Before leaving Monte Sant'Angelo we suggest you also visit the Museum of Popular Art and Traditions of the Gargano, a true reflection of the rural culture of the place.
The Gargano, its history and its cultural heritage will give you a warm welcome: just take a look at our holiday packages to San Giovanni Rotondo and get ready for your next unforgettable adventure!