Places to visit on the Trail of Saints
Sanctuary of Mary Most Holy Achiropita
Rossano Calabro (9th century)
The Sanctuary is the city’s cathedral, built on a three nave plan, and still contains parts of the original Angevin building, with Byzantine and Norman elements. Nearby stand the ruins of the ancient Oratory, founded by the hermit Ephrem, a figure linked to the sacred image kept in the church.
Sanctuary of St. Mary delle Armi
Cerchiara di Calabria (15th century)
This structure stands on the slopes of Mount Sellaro; it is made up of a number of different buildings, including the Sanctuary, which was built in 1440 on an irregular plan, near a cave. In a nearby chapel dug out of the rocks, there is an image of the Virgin Mary painted on stone.
Sanctuary of St. Mary del Pettoruto
San Sosti (13th century)
The church was founded in 1274; its history is closely linked to that of the Abbey of Acquaformosa. In subsequent centuries the church was extended a number of times and was even rebuilt following an earthquake in 1783.
Basilica of St. Francis
Paola (15th – 17th century)
The complex of buildings is made up of an ancient central core and the modern Basilica, which was begun in 1998. The primitive church was built in 1454 with two naves (common in Calabrian monastic structures in the 1400s) and extended some time between ’69 and ’74; the monastery was completed in the 1600s, with the buildings supported by a bridge over the river Isca
Sanctuary of the Madonna of the Oak
Conflenti (16th century)
The building, with three naves and a bell tower on a square base, was constructed in 1580 on the site of a number of apparitions of the Virgin Mary. In 1759 the structure was extended significantly to accommodate the increasing numbers of pilgrims.
Sanctuary of the Holy Splinter
Petilia Policastro (17th century)
The building lies adjacent to the monastery of the Friars Minor of the Observance, which was built in 1431. Since its reconstruction in the 17th century, the sanctuary has a single nave with a wooden roof, a gabled façade with a portal and a bell-tower built on a square plan.
Serra San Bruno (11th century)
The cenoby was founded in 1091 by St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusian Order; it was taken over by Cistercian monks from 1193 to 1411, then in the fifteenth century the Abbey and its properties passed into the direct control of the Supreme Pontiff. Destroyed by an earthquake in 1783, the church was rebuilt in 1900.
St. John Theresti
Bivongi (11th century)
The planimetrical design of the church is Latin-cross with a single nave, trussed roof and complex dome. The interior of the church is an interesting mix of styles, with Byzantine, Norman and Islamic features. In the adjoining monastery visitors can see the remains of an ancient Basilian cenoby.
Sanctuary of Mary Most Holy of the Mountain or of the Polsi
San Luca (12th century)
A bell-tower is all that remains of the primitive church from the 3rd century and the cenoby that was subsequently built on the same site by Basilian Monks; the current building is Baroque in style.
Sanctuary of Mary Most Holy
Melito di Porto Salvo (17th century)
The church was built in 1679 on the orders of Marchese Domenico Alberti of Pentadattilo on the site of the miraculous discovery of a canvas depicting the Virgin Mary with Child, painted by an anonymous artist of the 1600s.