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215 215 9814

San Giovanni Rotondo Travel Guide: Notes for Exploring San Giovanni Rotondo

June 09, 2024 12 min read.

San Giovanni Rotondo is a town famous for its religious importance and its incredible natural beauty. In this San Giovanni Rotondo travel guide you will find the necessary information to visit San Giovanni Rotondo and plan your vacation without missing a thing.

Visiting San Giovanni Rotondo: General Information

If you are thinking of taking a trip to San Giovanni Rotondo, keep reading because here you will find everything you need to know to plan your visit to this fantastic destination.

San Giovanni Rotondo is a town located in the province of Foggia in the Apulia region of southern Italy. It is located on the eastern slope of the Gargano mountain range, about 25 kilometers from the Adriatic Sea.

San Giovanni Rotondo is famous for being the home of Padre Pio, a Catholic saint who lived there for most of his life.

Padre Pio was a Capuchin friar who was known for his stigmata, or wounds on his hands and feet, which he was said to have received during his mystical experiences. He also became known for his spiritual guidance, his charitable works, and his reputation as a miracle worker.

Today, San Giovanni Rotondo is an important pilgrimage site for Catholics from around the world who come to visit the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which houses the remains of Padre Pio.

The city also has other religious sites, such as the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli and the Church of San Giovanni Battista.

In addition to its religious significance, San Giovanni Rotondo is also known for its natural beauty and its location in the heart of the Gargano National Park.

Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities in the park, as well as explore the city's historic center, which features traditional Apulian architecture and a number of shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Stairs, trees and a clear sky

Stairs, trees and a clear sky

Picture of  Mia de Jesus on Unsplash

Location of San Giovanni Rotondo

Bellow, we show you where San Giovanni Rotondo is located:

Map of San Giovanni Rotondo on Google Maps

What to See in San Giovanni Rotondo

San Giovanni Rotondo is a destination where nature, historical heritage and religious faith converge to attract the most devout travelers, or the most curious and adventurous.

The town is home to several religious and cultural sites that make it a mandatory stop while touring the Apulia region. Here we tell you about some of the most popular places in San Giovanni Rotondo.

Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie

This is the most famous attraction in San Giovanni Rotondo, as it houses the remains of Padre Pio. The sanctuary includes several chapels, a museum, and the crypt where Padre Pio is buried.

Church on the side of a hill

Church on the side of a hill

Picture of Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Pilgrimage Church of Padre Pio

This modern church was designed by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano and opened in 2004. It seats 6,500 people and features a striking bell tower.

Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli

This is the oldest church in San Giovanni Rotondo, dating back to the 13th century. It is home to several beautiful frescoes and a statue of the Virgin and Child.

Convent of San Francesco

This convent is located just outside of San Giovanni Rotondo and was the home of Padre Pio for most of his life. Visitors can see his cell, the confessional where he heard confessions for hours every day, and the small chapel where he celebrated mass.

House Sollievo della Sofferenza

This is a modern hospital that was founded by Padre Pio in 1956. It is known for its state-of-the-art facilities and its commitment to providing high-quality healthcare to all, regardless of their ability to pay.

Gargano National Park

This park surrounds San Giovanni Rotondo and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including several species of orchids and birds of prey. Visitors can hike, bike, or take guided tours to explore the park's many natural wonders.

Historical Center

The historic center of San Giovanni Rotondo features several examples of traditional Apulian architecture, including whitewashed buildings with flat roofs and arched doorways. There are also several shops, restaurants and cafes where visitors can sample local cuisine and buy souvenirs.

San Giovanni Rotondo Festivities

San Giovanni Rotondo is a town that celebrates several festivals throughout the year, some of a religious nature and others of a more cultural nature. These festivals are an important part of the cultural and religious life of San Giovanni Rotondo and provide an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to come together and celebrate.

Below we will tell you about some of the most important festivals in San Giovanni Rotondo.

Feast of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

This festival takes place on September 23, which is the festival of the patron saint of the town, Padre Pio. The festival includes a solemn mass, a procession through the streets and various cultural and musical acts.

Carnival of San Giovanni Rotondo

This festival takes place in February or March and is a colorful celebration that features parades, costume contests, and live music. It is a time for locals and visitors alike to relax and have fun before the solemn period of Lent begins.

Easter

Easter is an important religious holiday in San Giovanni Rotondo, as it is in many Catholic communities. The town's churches hold solemn services throughout Holy Week, culminating in joyous Easter Sunday celebrations.

Gargano Summer Festival

This music festival takes place in July and August and features a variety of music genres, from classical to pop. It is held at various locations throughout the city and attracts visitors from all over Italy and beyond.

Christmas

Like Easter, Christmas is an important religious festival in San Giovanni Rotondo. The city is decorated with Christmas lights and trees, and churches hold special services during the Advent season and on Christmas Day.

Eating in San Giovanni Rotondo

The gastronomy of San Giovanni Rotondo is definitely recommended for the most demanding palates, as this town is known for its delicious cuisine. Visitors to the area can enjoy a variety of traditional dishes that feature fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Apulian cuisine is characterized by its simplicity, with an emphasis on using high-quality ingredients and letting their natural flavors shine through.

Some of the most popular dishes at San Giovanni Rotondo include pasta dishes, seafood specialties, and hearty meat dishes. In addition, visitors can sample a variety of cheeses, cold meats and other local delicacies, all made with great care and attention to detail.

To truly experience the flavors of San Giovanni Rotondo, we recommend seeking out small, family-run restaurants that specialize in regional cuisine, and be sure to sample some of the local wines and spirits, which are produced with the same care and attention as the food.

Homemade pasta

Homemade pasta

Picture of Anton on Unsplash

The Cultural Identity of San Giovanni Rotondo

San Giovanni Rotondo has a rich cultural heritage. The town is known for its warm and welcoming community, as well as its deep religious traditions.

This is so because the idiosyncrasy of San Giovanni Rotondo is deeply rooted in its history, which goes back centuries, and which remains alive thanks to the efforts of its community to preserve its customs and religious identity.

The city is home to several historical sites, including churches, museums, and convents, which are testimonials to its past. The local people take pride in their heritage and are known for their hospitality, generosity, and strong family values.

Thus, visitors to San Giovanni Rotondo can expect to be welcomed with open arms and experience the warmth and charm of the local culture.

Whether strolling through the historic center or visiting one of the city's many landmarks, visitors will find a unique and vibrant culture that is truly one of a kind.

How to Get to San Giovanni Rotondo

Getting to San Giovanni Rotondo is not difficult, as the town can be accessed by various means of transport. Here we tell you what your options are:

  1. Plane: The closest airport to San Giovanni Rotondo is Bari-Karol Wojtyla Airport. You can take a flight to this airport and then follow the instructions to get to San Giovanni Rotondo from Bari, as mentioned above.
  2. Train: If you are in Italy or in nearby countries with rail connections, you can take a train to Foggia station. From there, buses and taxis are available to take you to San Giovanni Rotondo, which is about 25 kilometers away.
  3. Bus: Several bus companies offer services from different Italian cities to San Giovanni Rotondo. You can check the bus routes and schedules that suit your location and preferences. The bus terminal in San Giovanni Rotondo is close to the Sanctuary of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina.
  4. Car: If you prefer the flexibility of driving on your own, you can rent a car and head to San Giovanni Rotondo. The main roads that will take you into the city are the A14 (Autostrada Adriatica) and the SS 272. Please note that you may have to pay tolls on the motorway and that it is necessary to familiarize yourself with traffic regulations in Italy.

How to Get Around San Giovanni Rotondo

San Giovanni Rotondo is a small town that is easy to explore on foot. The historic center is compact and pedestrian-friendly, with narrow streets and quaint alleyways best explored on foot.

Walking is also a great way to take in the local sights and sounds, and to discover hidden gems that may not be visible from a car or bus.

For those who prefer not to walk, there are also several other options for getting around in San Giovanni Rotondo. One of the most popular options is to rent a bike or scooter, which can be a fun and comfortable way to explore the city and its surroundings.

Another option is to use the local bus service, which connects San Giovanni Rotondo with other towns in the area, such as Foggia and Manfredonia. The bus station is located near the city center and tickets can be bought at the station or from the driver.

Taxis are also available in San Giovanni Rotondo, but can be relatively expensive compared to other means of transport.

It's also worth noting that parking in the city center can be difficult, especially during the peak tourist season, so it's usually best to park on the outskirts of the city and walk to the center.

In general, getting around San Giovanni Rotondo is relatively easy and straightforward, and there are several options available to suit different preferences and budgets.

When to Visit San Giovanni Rotondo

The best time to visit San Giovanni Rotondo depends on the preferences of each traveler. The city has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

If you prefer warm weather and outdoor activities, the best time to visit San Giovanni Rotondo is during the summer months of June to August. During this time, the weather is usually sunny and warm, making it the ideal time to explore the city's many sights and take advantage of the nearby Gargano National Park.

However, if you prefer cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, it may be best to visit San Giovanni Rotondo in spring or fall. The months of April to May and September to October offer mild temperatures and fewer tourists, making it an ideal time to explore the historic city center and attend local festivals.

Visiting San Giovanni Rotondo during the winter months of December to February can also be enjoyable, especially for those who enjoy Christmas markets and winter sports. However, it is important to note that some attractions and restaurants may have limited hours during this time.

Ultimately, the best time to visit San Giovanni Rotondo depends on your personal preferences and interests. Regardless of when you visit, the city's warm hospitality and rich cultural heritage are sure to make it an unforgettable experience.

Destinations Near San Giovanni Rotondo

San Giovanni Rotondo is a wonderful destination for those who enjoy getting lost in the cobbled streets and learning about the rich history of a place.

In turn, due to its proximity to Rome and Foggia, many travelers combine their visit to San Giovanni Rotondo with these destinations, which is why you will find these sites in several of our offers.

Are you looking to see the most wonderful landscapes? Do you want to know about fascinating architecture? Do you want to know about outstanding religious sites?

If your answer is "yes", at Greca we have several proposals for tourist packages to San Giovanni Rotondo, which you can modify and adapt according to your needs and times.

There are travel packages for all tastes. Choose your own adventure according to your needs!

More Travel Guides!

If you have been interested in our San Giovanni Rotondo travel guide and want to continue learning about this and other wonderful destinations, we invite you to look at the section of all our Travel Guides. Plan your next adventure with Greca!

01
How many days should I plan to visit San Giovanni Rotondo?

We recommend spending at least 2 days exploring the city.

02
Are there clothing restrictions in the religious places of San Giovanni Rotondo?

It is recommended to dress modestly and respectfully when visiting religious places.

03
Is it necessary to book in advance to visit the Sanctuary of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina?

Reservations are not necessary to visit the sanctuary, but there can be long lines in high season.

04
What are the public transportation options in San Giovanni Rotondo?

There are local buses available to move within the city.

05
Is it possible to rent bikes in San Giovanni Rotondo?

Yes, you can rent bikes from some local shops.

06
Are there any beaches near San Giovanni Rotondo?

Yes, there are beaches at a distance of approximately 30 kilometers from the city.

07
Are there day trips available from San Giovanni Rotondo?

Yes, you can take day trips to nearby towns like Foggia and Monte Sant'Angelo.

08
What is the currency used in San Giovanni Rotondo?

The currency used in Italy is the euro (€).

09
Are there cheap accommodation options in San Giovanni Rotondo?

Yes, there are budget accommodation options such as hostels and guest houses.

10
What's the best way to explore San Giovanni Rotondo on foot?

The city is relatively small and can be easily explored on foot.

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