From Sannio to Irpinia
An impressive tour that takes us, through breathtaking landscapes, from the great mountains of the Matese, the huge plains of the Sannio, to visit places of worship and deep spirituality, as the native home of Padre Pio, and the Abbey of Montevergine Sanctuary.
Distance: about 51km
Riding time: about 5 hours
Cusano Mutri: "[...] I'll tell you in a few words it is a delightful place. In fact there is clear water, green, peace, quiet life rest and fertile land. There are simple arts, generous wines; and the people are good, illustrious characters, clean, hospitable and pious. »
(Vincenzo Fiore, pastor, 1906)
Cusano Mutri is an Italian town of 4,132 inhabitants of the province of Benevento in Campania. It is part of the Regional Park of Matese and the Mountain Community Titerno.
Located on the southern slope of the Matese, incorporated in the ancient Sannio Pentro, today the border between Campania and Molise. It is 20 km from the ancient Roman city of Telesia on the southwest side, in Campania, and 30 km away from the other Roman cities Altilia (Saepinum), in Molise, on the northeast side.
Its territory covers approximately 60 km², with a minimum altitude of 257 m at the throat of Lavella - and a maximum of 1823 m of Monte Mutria, at the border with Molise.
According to historians, Cusano Mutri is the Samnite Cossa, or Cosano, destroyed by the Romans along with Telesia.
The name, which would mean "the cup", would also indicate the topographical configuration from which derives the primitive ideographic symbol "Q", representing the circle of mountains with his Lavello throat, the only outlet. Certain news emerge only in A.D. 490, when Pope Felix III sent a priest to officiate in the chapel of the castrum (castle).
Pietrelcina: It borders the capital of its province and its center is about 12 km.Pietrelcina is located on a hill just over 340 m above sea level on the right side of the river Tammaro.The altitude range of the municipal area ranges from a minimum of 152 m s.l.m. to 569 m s.l.m.Home of Padre Pio: The birthplace of the saint of Pietrelcina is located at number 27 in Vico Storto Valle and it is not made up of a single unit but, instead, by more rooms that look out on the same road.In this house was born Francesco Forgione, in the bedroom of the parents, at 17 of May 25, 1887 when his mother had just returned from the country after helping her husband Horace.In the floor of the bedroom there is a trap door that led to the warehouse where laid the Padre Pio's father's work donkey used to go to work in the countryside.At number 28 there are two other rooms: the kitchen, the fireplace and the original furnishings, and the bedroom of some children, subsequently became the dining room. According to the belief, in this room Padre Pio made his first supernatural experience. In the room Padre Pio used often sleep on the floor, using a stone for a pillow.Other house, a place of pilgrimage, is the home of Padre Pio's brother, Michael, where the saint lived between 1912 and 1916.
Distance: about 50 km
Riding time: about 7 hours
Santuario di Montevergine: The official origin of the Montevergine Sanctuary dates back to the consecration of the first church back in 1126. However, the rise of William to the mountain was a few years earlier. On those inaccessible peaks, the Good had gone looking for a secluded place to gather in prayer, but immediately his fame and his virtues attracted the mountain men and women, disciples and priests eager to serve God under his teaching. The birth of the Sanctuary was therefore somewhat spontaneous, William had never thought of his own monastic organization. Yet in no time people have arisen on the mountain to follow, they started an intense building activity, so that the first cells were soon ready for the men and a small church. It was truly a humble huts kept standing with a little 'mortar and mud, enough anyway to give the idea of a spring religious community under the guidance of the Holy. The same religious inspiration that had spontaneously gathered around the figure of William, the first monastic community was behind the decision to devote the early church to the Madonna. There are some popular beliefs telling that they wanted to link the origin of the Sanctuary of the Madonna in an appearance, it may be said that it was the Marian ascetic spirit of St. William and his disciples to make sure that on the mountain tops Partenio should lift a beacon of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mother of God. Since then, the main purpose of the new monastic family was to serve God through devotion to Mary, the disciples of William soon began to spread all over the area and in the adjacent regions, organizing numerous pilgrimages to their parent company. Marian devotion was conceived by the white children of William as the most effective way to enter the mystery of the Trinity of God and the redemption accomplished by Jesus. The fundamental reason for the arduous journey and the tough climb to the church of Santa Maria di Montevergine, the prolonged prayers and offerings of the believers, became the invocation of the powerful intercession of Our Lady to obtain the mercy of God. that was how Montevergine quickly developed into the most famous Marian shrine and visited Southern Italy, and pilgrimages took on their specific characteristics .