- San Giovanni Rotondo
Idyllically set just in the middle of the highest Gargano peaks, San Giovanni Rotondo was founded in the Middle Ages, but its origins are much more ancient. During the Neolithic Age, it was settled by a large community of shepherds. In the period comprised between the IV and the III century B.C. , it was conquered by the Romans and a huge circular-shaped temple dedicated to Janus was built in its territory. It was subsequently called Bisanum, meaning “village of the pagan two-faced god”. The Benedictine Monks then converted the pagan temple and named it after St. John the Baptist. In the XI century, the temple was dubbed Ecclesia Sancti Johannis Extra Moenia, and Casale Sancti Johannis Rotundi in 1095. During the Norman Period the city was turned into an impressive fortress. In 1511 it resisted the French attack, but was sacked by the enemy troops. In 1601 it was given to the princess Beatrice Guevara, and then ruled by don Pietro Cavaniglia, whose heirs retained it until the end of feudalism. The city is now famous all over the world as the place where Padre Pio da Pietralcina was born and lived. The humble friar, that was canonized on June 16th, 2002, preached Christian hope and salvation. The thriving farming centre of San Giovanni Rotondo has developed considerable expertise in the sector of tourism and hospitality. It is also scattered with important quarries where the famous Gargano stone is produced.
- Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza
Highly desired by Padre Pio, who inaugurated it during an Eucharistic celebration on May 5th, 1956, it is now a real hospital district provided with state-of-the-art technologies and equipment.
- Ancient Church
It was erected in the XVI century. Its choir stalls cherish the Crucifix in front of which Padre Pio received the Stigmata.
- Convent of the Friars Minor Capuchin
It was erected in the XVI century. It is one of the most representative landmarks of San Giovanni.
It was realized inside the Sanctuary of St. Maria delle Grazie one century ago, when Padre Pio was still alive. It was blessed by Padre Pio at 9:00 on September 22th, 1968, the day before he died.
- New Church of St. Pio da Pietralcina
It was designed by the architect Renzo Piano. The second largest Church in the world after St. Peter’s Basilica, its interior can accommodate over 7.000 people and its fascinating church square can host up to 40.000 visitors. This imposing sacred building attracts both pilgrims and the lovers of art and architecture.
- Old town
It gathers ancient churches of great value: St. Caterina (XI century); St. Onofrio (XIII century); St. Leonardo (XIII-XVII century); St. Giacomo (XIV century); Madonna di Loreto (XV century); St. Orsola (XVI century); St. Nicola (XVII century) and St. John the Baptist, that was erected over the remains of the ancient pagan temple of Janus (II century B.C.).
- Monte Sant’Angelo
Also known as the "Land of the Archangel", it is the highest centre of Gargano (843 m. above sea level).
Idyllically set just in the heart of a privileged panoramic position, it boasts sweeping views over the Tavoliere to the west and the Gulf of Manfredonia to the south.
The impressive underlying rock spur is scattered with enchanting caves, such as the one occupied by the altar of St. Michael the Archangel. The glorious vicissitudes experienced by this cave, that was chosen by the Archangel as his earthly seat, are strictly interconnected with those of the village. Legend has it that the first appearance of the Archangel took place on May 8th, 490, and was followed by other episodes in 492, 493 and 1656. This was the beginning of the cult of St. Michael in the western world.
- Basilica of St. Michael
Situated along "Via Sacra Langobardorum", it has always attracted large numbers of pilgrims. It boasts an octagonal bell tower dating back to 1274, a splendid portal embellished by richly sculptured capitals, architraves and cornices (1395), an imposing stairway that leads up to the XVII-century Porta del Toro and an enchanting calcareous cave. The crypt of the Sanctuary is now home to the interesting Archaeological Museum of St. Michele.
- Church of St. Maria Maggiore
It was erected in the XI century over the remains of an ancient necropolis. It boasts a nave and two aisles. It is embellished by precious frescoes of great value.
- Church of St. Benedetto
It is embellished by a beautiful Gothic portal dating back to 1340 and by a splendid apse.
- Norman-Swabian-Aragonese Castle
It is said to date back to 980.
- Junno medieval quarter
It was first mentioned in the X century. It is punctuated with picturesque one-story houses whose doors are surmounted by a single window and crossed by narrow streets and winding lanes.
- Rotari Tomb
It is a precious XII-century baptistery featuring a complex architectural structure.
- Badia di Pulsano
It is situated 8 kilometres far from Monte Sant’Angelo. It was erected in 595 over the remains of an ancient sacred building in Calcante. It still retains its impressive walls and elegant façade.
- Gargano National Park
This enchanting Italian Park provides the ideal habitat for over 2.200 species of plants and 170 species of animals.
- Foresta Umbra
It extends over a total surface of 11.000 hectares of lush vegetation including Aleppo pines, turkey oaks and beech trees. It is an important Naturalistic Centre and Faunal Reserve.
- Monte Sacro
Situated 870 m. above sea level, it is covered by a thick holm-oak grove and topped by the impressive remains of an ancient Benedictine Abbey dedicated to the Trinity.
- Sipontine Marshland
In the XII century, the emperor Frederick II of Swabia was stunned by its beauty. This charming cane thicket provides the ideal habitat for numerous species of birds.
- Sanctuary of St. Matteo – St. Marco in Lamis
Situated along the ancient "Via Sacra Langobardorum", it rises 750 metres above sea level. This imposing quadrangular structure is idyllically set amidst the lush green hills of Mount Celano. Founded by the Benedictine Monks between the VII and the VIII century, it was originally called St. Giovanni in Lamis; some centuries later an important relic belonging to St. Matteo was brought here, what contributed to the development of a great cult around the saint that led to turn the sanctuary’s name into Monastery of St. Matteo. Its interior cherishes a precious XIII-century wood statue depicting St. Matteo, a beautiful polychrome marble high altar (XVII century) and splendid wooden choir stalls dating back to the XVII century.