Santa Maria delle Grazie Church, in San Giovanni Rotondo, is a popular Catholic pilgrimage site visited by about seven million people a year to pay homage to Padre Pio, declared a saint in 2002. Padre Pio died in the monastery there and his remains are entombed in the church’s crypt. Because of the huge number of visitors, a much larger church, designed by Renzo Piano, was built in 2004.
At the church you can visit the original Santa Maria delle Grazie Church, dedicated in 1676, where Padre Pio said mass, his cell that still contains books and clothing that belonged to him, and the Sala San Francesco where he greeted the faithful. There’s a gift shop and a pilgrim’s office where English is spoken. On the forested hillside above the church is a modern Way of the Cross, Via Crucis.
From the parking lots (paid) you have to walk to the church, passing a number of souvenir and snack stands. More about Visiting the Padre Pio Site.
Also on the Gargano Peninsula is the pilgrimage site of San Michele Archangel in Monte Sant’ Angelo.