The mountain and the village of Monte Sant'Angelo have been named after the Archangel Michael, who is said to have visited a cave here four times: in the years 490, 492, 493 and again in 1656. A sanctuary was erected in his honour, and is home to a shrine of St. Michael in the exact spot where the cave is located, which is said to be situated between heaven and earth, between the divine and the human.
Monte Sant'Angelo is 800 metres above sea level and dominates the whole Gargano area, offering its visitors a breathtaking view of the Gulf of Manfredonia and the Gargano National Park. The mountain is one of the most distinctive natural areas in the Gargano National Park and it is populated with several architecturally beautiful churches and other monuments.
The Sanctuary of St. Michael is a simple basilica consisting of three naves which are composed of several different constructions stemming from different eras and that together reveal fifteen centuries of history. Since the dawn of time, this sanctuary has been a place of reconciliation and prayer for Christians from around the world: A sanctuary that is a popular destination for pilgrims from near and far besides being an architectural jewel of Christianity, especially the Catholic aspect.
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Besides the sanctuary, the town contains a Norman castle with towers and buildings that have been constructed throughout different eras. It is an unconventional composition and a museum of Giovanni Tancredi folk art. A few kilometres from the town of Monte Sant'Angelo, located along the Sacred Way Via Sacra Longobardorum, you can also visit the old monastery Abbazia di Santa Maria di Pulsano that was built in 1100 by San Giovanni da Matera. The monastery possesses important Byzantine icons.
Via Sacra Longobardorum is the path that the pilgrims passed through when they came from the rest of Italy to Monte Sant'Angelo. Today it represents the way in its full length (it stretches between the valley Stig Nano and the city of Manfredonia) the Christian repentance. In 2006, the sanctuary and the Via Sacra Longobardorum were included on UNESCO's prestigious list for preservation.
Sanctuary opening hours: During the summer months from July to September it is open on weekdays between the hours of 6:30 to 19:30 and on weekends and holidays it is open between the hours of 7:30 to 19:30. In winter it is open on weekdays between the hours of 7:30 to 18:00 and on weekends and holidays it is open between the hours of 7:30 to 12:30 and again at. 14.30 - 17.00.
St. Michael's festival/feast is held on 8th May and 29th September.