The Three Most Visited Sanctuaries in Italy

Written by Shaiya Ong

Vatican City remains to be the most visited religious sanctuary in the world, with over 1.1 billion Catholics flocking the place all year round; not to mention other religious denominations who are intrigued by the place.  In any case, there are other religious destinations in Italy that are also gaining prominence among tourists and local travellers.  This is a list of them.

Sanctuary of Saint Michael the Archangel

Sanctuary of Saint Michael the Archangel 

This is located near San Giovanni Rotondo, a place where the archangel apparently appeared in the years 490, 492 and 1656 allowing it to become a consecrated shrine.  Popular persons in the religious realm were also noted to have visited the place, which includes St. Gerard Majella, St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. William of Vercelli.  This and news of being miraculous site has made this sanctuary one of the most popular in Italy.

Padre Pio Shrine 
Padre Pio Shrine  

Padre Pio is known for his supernatural powers, particularly his stigmata in the year 1919.  His body was exhume in April 2008 and eventually placed in display at Santa Maria delle Grazie sanctuary in a glass coffin before it had its final resting place at the crypt of the church.  Due to the large volume of pilgrims who go and visit the shrine, architect Renzo Piano designed a place for worship that allows 6500 people to sit and another 30,000 to stand outside and hear daily masses, but it is still not sufficient to the seven million pilgrims who visit this place annually. It is open to the public and remains free up to this date.

San Gabriel Sanctuary

Sanctuary of San Gabriel

Approximately two million visitors go to this place each year.  It is located at the foot of Gran Sasso Mountain in Teramo and is dedicated to the young saint that exhibited uninterrupted supernatural experience during his lifetime.  It is in proximity with other two popular sanctuaries in the place.  Loreto, and San Giovionni Rotondo.  Many who come and visit also include these other two sanctuaries to complete their pilgrimage.  The place is quite popular because of the 300 year old painting of the Our Lady of Sorrows.

Most visitors of Italy remain to be religious pilgrims who vowed to see up close these sanctuaries.  Many of them prefer arriving at Rome airport to begin the journey with a mass at St. Peter's Basilica at Vatican City.  So if you haven't decided on your Italy itinerary yet, why not add a few of these sites in your list and experience why some prefer to spend money just to fulfill a pilgrim to this places.

Author Bio: 
Shaiya is a freelance writer in the Philippines who once endured the extreme task of becoming an educator to university students. She is happier to have been given the liberty to take time at her own pace. She is now enjoying moments travelling to places she dreams of visiting and cherishing precious time with her family.