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Via Francigena - Day 20

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

A few days following the trail inland and it was back to the coast to city of Ortanto, where I could enjoy a relaxing swim in the evening. But first it was another long day on the trail with another 30+ kilometers to navigate.

I looked at the app directions and thought that I could probably cut an hour off the rout if I just followed the main road to the next town instead of the app directions. I decided to take the app directions and I discovered that on the route was an apparition site and shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Motevergine, that I had not heard of before. It is an apparition that dates back to the 1500's and it occurred too a young farm boy. There is a large monument and shrine dedicated on the place of the apparition and it is literally in the middle of groves of olive plantations out of town.

Not far into the walk I came across some encouraging signage Boun Cammino ( have a nice walk).

In the distance I could see a large, statue protruding from the trees.

It drew me on.

It was Our Lady, holding baby Jesus!

The sanctury of Our Lady of Motevergine- Palmarriggi

below the altar a stair case leads down to the cave that was discovered after the apparition.

On the walls of the cave are painted frescos which date back to around the 8th century when the Byzantine empire stretched into Italy. One of which is of Our Lady holding baby Jesus.

On arriving in Ortanto I was able to catch mass in the basilica and take a nice evening swim in the Adriatic and enjoy an evening meal.

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