spur of the Gargano, in the cave of the devil
Monte Sant'Angelo (also known simply as "Mònde", according to the local dialect) is an Italian town in the Puglia region that has just under 13,000 inhabitants spread over an area of 245.13 square kilometers. It is located in the province of Foggia, more precisely on a spur of the Gargano in a wooded area, at an average altitude of 796 meters above sea level and within an area known for the spectacular alternation of mountainous terrain and flat terrain: the latter is also directly wet from the sea (think of the fraction of Marina di Monte Santangelo) The history of Monte Sant'Angelo is directly linked to that of the cave of the Archangel Michael, which, according to local tradition, appeared in vision to the bishop of Spionto san Lorenzo Maiorano on May 8, 490, ordering him to dedicate the place to Christian worship . The cave of the archangel Michael was known to the Lombards, who during the seventh century after Christ raised it to their national shrine and also to the Saracens, who sacked it in the year 871. The place became a must for the Crusaders heading to the Holy Land already starting from the tenth century and between the year 1000 and the year 1100 just in its neighborhood began to develop the urban settlement that would become the municipality that we know today. Monte Sant'Angelo obtained the title of city directly from Pope Boniface IX in the year 1401 and was subsequently granted to Giorgio Castriota, also known as Scanderberg: a noble Albanian leader and patriot, distinguished during the resistance against the Ottomans. During the seventeenth century the municipality would have joined the Kingdom of Naples and would have overcome a very severe epidemic of plague, while during the following century it would have started to grow from an urban point of view. At the same time, the history of the Sanctuary mentioned above has continued to welcome dozens and dozens of saints, popes and very important religious figures: starting from St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena and St. Francis of Assisi, arriving to Pope John Palo II (in 1974, when he was still a cardinal of Krakow).
The fortress of Paolo and Francesca
Six kilometers from Gabicce Mare and Cattolica, 18 from Pesaro, 20 from Rimini and 35 from Urbino: close distances to reach the village of magic and love called Gradara, in the province of Pesaro-Urbino. Love, above all, because this is the scenario of the historical myth of Dante's memory between Paolo and Francesca. Between sea and hills, the town is one of the main tourist destinations of Italy, in the Riviera Marche-Romagna. The fortified village of Gradara, with its castle and its two walls that protect the whole fortress, represents a medieval complex among the best preserved throughout the Belpaese: it rises on the entire valley in a hill of 142 meters above sea level, a strategic and dominant position over the surrounding territory, kissed by a mild climate, generous with sweetness in every season of the year, mitigated by the inland hills and by the humidity of the sea in front of it. So, a privileged place, to build a fortress and have control of men and businesses, between 'fights' of various kinds between the houses of the Marches and Romagna and the Papal States. It all began in 1150: it is when the noble and powerful De Griffo family builds the keep that is fortified with a couple of mighty walls between 1200 and 1300, by the Malatesta family who, in spite of the fact that the town then moves from hand to hand, they left their massive footprint, so much so that Gradara is often referred to as Rocca Malatestiana. The domain of this family lasted until the middle of 1400, exactly in 1463, when the Pope's soldiers, led by Federico da Montefeltro, took possession of it. It is the historical moment of the Sforza of Pesaro, faithful to the papacy: in particular we remember Giovanni, the (almost) anonymous husband of the decidedly more famous Lucrezia. Among the families that later take care of the Fortress are also included Della Rovere and the Medici, in a real swirl of infighting and not that for many centuries has characterized these territories between Marche and Emilia Romagna. This did not do much good for the whole so much so that at the beginning of the twentieth century its state of conservation was not the best: luckily the last owner of this enchanted place intervenes, the engineer Umberto Zanvettori who, around the twenties, brings it back to its ancient beauty for our ecstatic eyes. The area is famous for certain craftsmanship, such as ceramics and majolica, important both in the building sector and in the craft sector, as well as for the presence of vineyards and olive groves. But the Gradara site literally calamita for its medieval atmosphere, 'bristling with stories, weapons and passions ... And there is to be considered a certain congressional tourism, through the company Gradara Innova which has several facilities in the historic center , a few steps from the famous Rocca, ideal for meetings, events, conventions, conferences, presentations, seminars.
Exclusive Rome to Pompeii & Amalfi Coast Trip with TAKETAXI.COM private Pompeii day tours from Rome , limited to 7/8 people per van , feature guided walking tours of Pompeii combined with Positano, Amalfi & the scenic Amalfi Coast road Highlights and what's included Pick up and drop off at your centrally located hotel Small group tour with maximum 7/8 people per minivan Skip the line tickets to visit the archaeological site of Pompeii 2-hours tour of Pompeii's archaeological site with our local expert English speaking guide A/C Mercedes vehicle or similar with our expert English speaking driver-guide Scenic photo stops along the Amalfi Coast from Amalfi to Positano covering a 30 km of stunning coastline Plenty of free time in Positano and Amalfi Description Enjoy a semi-private Rome Day Tours to Pompeii & the Amalfi Coast , limited to 7/8 people per vehicle , and experience the enchanting Amalfi coast and the extraordinaly archeological site of Pompeii. On the way to the Amalfi coast, stop at some scenic view points before reaching Amalfi, a town that enjoyed a prestigious past when it was once a major naval power. Made of a labyrinth of narrow lanes and alleyways that climbs the surrounding hills, the town features typical mediterranean architecture style with houses piled one on top of the other. Here you can sample the local Limoncello drink in one of the many cafes' or perhaps visit the celebrated "Paradise Cloister" built in Arabian style that dates back to the thirteenth century. After some free time to explore the town, our Rome day tours of Pompeii & Amalfi continue to Positano via the famous Amalfi coast road - the drive offers breathtaking views and we make several photos stops en route to give you the possibility to capture the truly enchanting beauty of this part of Italy. In Positano, enjoy free time for lunch and to walk around this exclusive delightful village with its white and pastel-coloured houses litter the hillside. Along with the beautiful beaches, its ancient fishing port, the splendid majolica dome of the church of Santa Maria Assunta and Artisan shops, you'll enjoy a taste of the "Dolce Vita". After lunch we leave Positano and following the road uphill away from the coast, where we will stop at another scenic view point to enjoy the last magnificent view of this delightful part of Italy, and shortly afterwards you'll be admiring views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius in all its glory. Our next destination includes the famous archaeological site of Pompeii, where you will enjoy a two-hour tour conducted by our local English speaking expert guide. Enjoy a journey back in time as you'll visit the must-see highlights of this site and learn about life in Ancient Pompeii - the habits, lifestyles and peculiarities of the Ancient Romans as you tour the ancient market areas, foodtstalls, typical Roman homes, brothels, and admire the delightful frescoes all preserved by an erupting volcano that still dominates the Pompeii. Our Small Group Rome Tours to Pompei & Amalfi will leave you with memories that will last a life time as you discover some of the most enchanting places of our "Bel Paese", Italy. This is a long day tour but a very rewarding one! The tour will conclude back at your hotel in Rome. Note: The order of the sites visited during the day may be different from the order as presented in the tour description. When being picked up at the hotel in the morning, it is important to verify the driver is from Avventure Bellissime, as at there are several companies organizing pick ups at hotels at the same time. Read More Excluded Lunch Gratuities ( Optional ) Meeting Point Day Tours of Pompeii & the Amalfi Coast will depart from your centrally located hotel in Rome between 6.45am & 7.15am