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Hermitages in Le Marche: the perfect union of nature and spirituality

By 6 April 2018 No Comments

Le Marche region is rich in hermitages and monasteries that are a point of reference for the religious community, welcoming saints, monks and hermits.

Some of these sites are well preserved and open to the public allowing you relax mind and body, immersed in spirituality and nature.

Mount Giove Hermitage, between the hills of Fano and the sea

The Mount Giove Hermitage is located in the hills between Fano and Pesaro and from the heights of its 223 metres above sea level you can take in the marine city and the Adriatic Coast.

The Mount Giove Hermitage, built in the 17th century by the Camaldolese Congregation of Mount Corona attracts the attention of many tourists throughout the entire year. Despite the constant affluence of visitors, silence, prey and meditation reign supreme inside the Hermitage.

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The feeling of the site will overcome you as soon as you enter, and you will be deeply affected by the serenity and peace enclosed within its walls.

The building was constructed in 1741 and is still the home to seven monks and a nun who are devoted to a life of pray and reflection. The Mount Giove complex also includes a library housing a vast collection, the sacristy with original 18th century furnishing, a pharmacy and accommodation for around ten people.

The Madonna del Faggio Hermitage of Mount Carpegna

The highest point of Montefeltro, Mount Carpegna, houses a small church with a hermitage dedicated to the Madonna del Faggio in a cove of its vast plateau.

The church existed as far back as 1200 and was then very different from its current appearance. The various restructuring works (the most recent dates to the post WWII period) have extended the ancient sites. An entrance portico separated from the main building and a new bell tower to replace the ancient cubicle were also constructed.

The entire area next to the church and the hermitage, once used for pastoralism, is now a tourist attraction and a site for winter sports. In fact, the installation of ski lifts has permitted the construction of skiing facilities used during the cold and snowy months.

The hermitage in Carpegna attracts many tourists who apart from skiing in winter and trekking in the summer, are also drawn to pray in front of the venerated effigy or along the via crucis. A few years ago, the widening of the access road and the squares enabled the Hermitage to be connected to places to catering sites in the immediate vicinity, all in respect of the surrounding religious area.

The Font Avellana Monastery at the foot of Mount Catria

Sheltered on the slopes of Mount Catria, surrounded by thick beech woods and pastures, is the Abbey of the Camaldolese Monks of Fonte Avellana.

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This mystical and mysterious site will remain forever in the minds of visitors. The monks who still live inside the Monastery try to balance their isolated lifestyle with the advantages of a convent life and for many years have participated in cultural and social exchanges. In fact, this site is also open to tourists who can stay there and share a spiritual and social experience along with the monks.

The Fonte Avellana Monastery is hidden and camouflaged in the heart of Mount Catria. A classical medieval site, it demands a predisposition towards silence, meditation and personal reflection.

The Saint Mary of Valdisasso Hermitage in Fabriano

The village of Valleremita, the site of the Saint Mary of Valdisasso Hermitage, is thought to have accommodated Saint Frances during his stay in Fabriano.

This site is embedded with history and spirituality and in the 17th century it was one of the most important monasteries in the Region. It has continued to offered refuge to hermits and monks over the centuries.

The excavations for the various restoration works have brought to light ancient sites, walls and a fountain that were buried for years. The restoration and the improvements by the Hermitage of Sasso di Vallerita have rivitalised the social and cultural importance that the Monastery has always had, allowing it to re-emerge as one of the most important centres of Franciscan spirituality.

Le Marche region has given new life to a spiritual centre with great historical, artistic and architectonic value. The building, now completely restructured, maintains its undeniable appeal, surrounded by nature and woods containing century-old beeches. This site, the permanent residence of monks, welcomes tourists and is also used for meetings, conventions and activities to promote the cultural and touristic aspects of the area, encouraging interaction between the non-religious and the religious, who accept and respect different identities.

The Monastery of Saint Sylvester in Montefano

The monastery, also known as a hermitage, is situated almost on the summit of an 890 metre-high mountain near Fabriano. The location of the Monastery offers almost 360-degree views. The Hermitage is also surrounded by paths and lanes that make the landscape a joy to behold.

The Saint Sylvester Hermitage in Montefano – Fabriano, was built in the first half of the 3rd Century and became a seat of the new monastic order of the Silvestrina Congregation. Despite its ancient origins, the building has been subject to a many transformations over the centuries, including those in very recent times. In fact, the historical structure was rebuilt in the middle of the 1400s, whilst numerous extensions were made between the 17th and 18th centuries.

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The hermitage is now the residence of a monastic community that is very involved in cultural and spiritual life. Apart from the workshop for the restoration of ancient books, there is also a historical library with around 70,000 works, including ancient literature and manuscripts.

The hermitage of Saint Mary Infra Saxa in Genga

To reach the Hermitage of Saint Mary infra Saxa, you need to enter the National Park of the Gola Rossa (Red Gorge) and Frasassi, famous for its evocative gorges with stalactites and stalagmites.

Here between the towering walls that form the gorge dug by the river Sentino in the limescale rock for two kilometres, is the Chapel of Saint Mary infra Saxa hidden in a gouge excavated in the rocky face.

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Originally constructed as an oratory, the building was then used as a cloistered monastery for the Benedictine monks. The simple and rudimentary architecture is completely made from stone, and the interior is even partially excavated into the living rock. The Monastery housed a precious wooden image of the Virgin Mary (thought to have been burnt during a fire) now replaced by the same image in stone.

The Hermitage of San Marco seen from Piazza del Popolo

The Hermitage of San Marco is a spiritual place perched on the rocky wall of Colle San Marco near Ascoli Piceno.

This charming and mysterious hermitage can be admired also from Piazza del Popolo: the building has been built in squared blocks of travertine and to reach it you have to walk an imposing stone staircase that crosses the deep ravine as if it were a bridge. The prospect of the hermitage, consisting of the bell tower and a façade with a double order of mullioned windows vertically divided by a central column with a capital, seems to emerge directly from the rock of the hill, with a truly extraordinary visual impact.

Photo credits: www.camminandomontievalli.it

 

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