Until recent times, San Giovanni Rotondo was little more than an isolated village, a sight far removed from the beaten tourist trail of Italy. That changed in the early 1900s, when an unassuming monk named Padre Pio made the place his home, bringing his reputed healing skills with him. A bearer of stigmata (bleeding from the locations of Jesus’ crucifixion wounds), Padre Pio is said to have used his abilities to heal sick villagers. His fame grew after his death, leading to his canonization in 2002 – an event that propelled San Giovanni Rotondo to one of Italy’s most-visited pilgrimage sites.
Take a visit to the Monastery Shrine of Padre Pio (also known as the Convent of the Minor Capuchin Friars) to see sites linked to the saint. The shrine is home to two churches, the older Our Lady of Grace Church (Santa Maria delle Grazie) with its stunning wall of mosaics and the new Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church that was designed by the lauded Italian architect Renzo Piano. See Padre Pio’s tomb and prayer cell inside the Our Lady of Grace Church or perhaps take a stroll to see the Way of the Cross monument on a hill overlooking the church.
The town has several cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy lunch and dinner. Alternatively, enjoy dinner at your hotel in the evening.
Day 1: Rome – San Giovanni Rotondo Board your train at Rome Termini Station and relax on your 4-hour journey to the city of Foggia in the region of Puglia. Meet your private driver at Foggia station and travel to San Giovanni Rotondo on Italy’s peaceful east coast. Check in to your hotel, settle in and spend the rest of your day at leisure.
If you want to visit the nearby mountain-top city of Monte Sant’Angelo, simply speak to your driver who can arrange a visit for you at your own expense. The city’s highlight is the UNESCO-listed Sanctuary of Monte Sant’Angelo (Monte Gargano), a Catholic monastery – dedicated to St Michael the Archangel – that’s said to be one of the oldest shrines in Western Europe.
Overnight: 3-star Hotel Fini or 4-star Hotel Gran Paradiso in San Giovanni Rotondo
Day 2: San Giovanni Rotondo (B) After breakfast, the day is yours to spend doing whatever you please. Head out to explore independently and discover the religious landmarks for which San Giovanni Rotondo is famous. Overnight: 3-star Hotel Fini or 4-star Hotel Gran Paradiso in San Giovanni Rotondo
Day 3: San Giovanni Rotondo – Rome (B) Enjoy breakfast and check out of your hotel. In the late morning, your private driver will pick you up and take you to Foggia station. Board you train and travel back to Rome Termini Station, where your tour finishes.
Please note: Rates do not includes city taxes. City tax will be paid directly at the reception hotel desk at the arrival or at the check out according to the local city board procedure. City tax will change according to hotel category
Round-trip train tickets (Rome to Foggia)
Private round-trip transfers (Foggia to San Giovanni Rotondo)
2 nights of accommodation
Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Food and drinks, unless specified
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 7 days of travel. In this case confirmation will be received within 48 hours, subject to availability
Train tickets will be delivered to your Rome hotel; please provide hotel name and address on booking
Each traveler is allowed a maximum of 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on bag. Oversized or excessive luggage (e.g. surfboards, golf clubs or bikes) may have certain restrictions, please inquire with the operator prior to travel to confirm if your excess luggage is acceptable
A dress code is required to enter places of worship and selected museums. No shorts or sleeveless tops allowed. Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women. You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements
Rates do not includes city taxes. City tax will be paid directly at the reception hotel desk at the arrival or at the check out according to the local city board procedure. City tax will change according to hotel category
Hotels are subject to availability at time of booking. In the rare event that the mentioned hotel is unavailable, you will be accommodated in another centrally located hotel of the same star rating
Not wheelchair accessible
Rome Termini Station, central Rome
Concludes at Rome Termini Station in the evening of Day 3