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The holy sites of Valle Peligna

Hiking in Abruzzo

The holy sites of Valle Peligna (Hiking in Abruzzo)

From Sulmona we reach the hamlet of Badia and then the lookout point on the slopes of Morrone, where we find a rest stop and picnic area.

From the lookout point across the Peligna valley we can choose to go up to the Sant’Onofrio hermitage or stop at the Ercole Curino sanctuary archaeological site (Trail 14 of the Park).

In about twenty minutes we can climb up to the hermitage, using the zig-zag stairs carved into the rock.

Like an eagle’s nest overlooking the valley, the bold construction of the Celestine hermitage truly seem to compete with the raptors inhabiting the face of Morrone.

The church has a rectangular nave with a fifteenthcentury wooden ceiling and contains two frescoes of the same period, depicting Christ the King and Saint John the Baptist.

There is also a small oratory with frescoes of the thirteenth century, and the cells used by Pietro da Morrone (Pope Celestine V) and by blessed Roberto da Salle.

‘Pietro’s cave’ is under the church and at the back preserves intact the imprint in the rock of where the saint slept.

To go down to the Ercole Curino sanctuary we start in the square and follow the signs, descending about 500m along the path, shaded by pines and cypresses, until we reach the plateau where we find the monumental ruins of the shrine, dedicated to an Italic divinity and protector of herds, and which stood on the sheep track to Foggia.

The site has rich polychrome stucco and mosaic floors of Hellenistic type, and has brought to light prestigious artefacts including a marble and a bronze statue of Hercules

Unspoiled landscapes for all strides

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