Santa Maria di Pulsano, 8 kilometers from Monte Sant’Angelo, was a monastery built in 591 on the site of a pagan temple. in 1646 it was mostly destroyed by an earthquake but recently it has been reborn with new facilities, a new spiritual community, and some of the ruins restored. Volunteers and residents tend the gardens and animals, helping to make the community almost completely self-sufficient.
Visitors to this tranquil and beautiful place are welcome and those interested in a spiritual retreat can arrange to stay. Iconography courses are given at the monastery’s School of Iconography. No English is spoken at the monastery but f you want a full-Italian immersion experience, this might be a good place to do it. If you don’t speak Italian, email ([email protected]) might be the best way to arrange a visit.
On the cliffs near the monastery there are suggestive ruins of 24 other monasteries. Some of them can be reached by hiking trails.