1. San Giovanni Rotondo: Spiritual Experience of Saint Pio
The guided tour of San Giovanni Rotondo will take you to visit the places where the remains of Saint Pio from Pietralcina resided, which lived here for about 50 years. The tour itinerary will unite the most significant places, the ancient church, the new church, the monastery, and the new sanctuary. The ancient church, of the mid-1500s, has a very simple façade and inside it is composed of a single baroque style nave. At a second entrance to the convent, is the cell of Padre Pio and the crypt where the body of Padre Pio was housed it was transferred to the nearby sanctuary. The visit continues with the new church, built to accommodate in an appropriate manner the considerable flow of thousands of pilgrims that flowed ever more numerous to San Giovanni Rotondo. Here, the friar celebrated mass and confessed the faithful. After having seen the various utensils that belonged to the friar of Pietralcina inside the convent, head to the cell where the friar lived. Your tour ends at the Sanctuary, designed by architect Renzo Piano. This is one of the largest churches in Italy, capable of holding up to 7,000 people. You will first visit the upper church, characterized by stone arches and decorations made by some of the best artists of national renown such as Arnaldo Pomodoro. Then through a helical walkway, visit the lower church and the crypt where the remains of Saint Pio rest.