One of Italy's most popular pilgrimage sites is the Padre Pio Shrine in San Giovanni Rotondo, a town in the southern Italy region of Puglia. In addition to paying homage to Padre Pio at his tomb in the crypt of the church, visitors can see where he said mass and his former cell with memorabilia from his life. A religious celebration commemorating Padre Pio that includes a torchlight procession is usually held on September 23.
Also on Puglia's Gargano Promontory is another of Italy's popular pilgrimage sites, the Sanctuary of the Archangel Michael. Here pilgrims come to visit the grotto, dating from the 5th - 6th centuries, the site where devotion to the Archangel Michael began. The sanctuary lies on the San Michele Pilgrimage Route that starts at Mont St Michele in France and is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Longobards in Italy, Places of the Power.
Both Pilgrimage sites are close together enough to be visited on the same trip. I recommend spending the night in Monte Sant'Angelo, a charming town with a remarkable historic center, castle, and museums. See Where to Go in Gargano for details.
Archangel Michael Grotto Photo © by James Martin, Europe Travel