“While proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.” St. Francis of Assis.
In Arezzo, immersed in the green of the Casentinesi forests thr Sanctuary of La Verna stands. This majestic structure, dedicated to St. Francis of Assis, is a pilgrimage site for hundreds of faithful and not only. For pilgrims, the Sanctuary represents a place where, thanks to solitude, spirituality and contact with nature, the soul and the body come closer together to reunite. In fact, according to history, Saint Francis went to Mount Verna (Vernia in ancient Tuscan) to find peace in a place distant from people, a place that knew how to convey serenity and tranquility.
The origins of the Sanctuary of La Verna
The Sanctuary has ancient origins, its construction is rooted in the thirteenth century, between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance, and brings with it all the glory and influence of those years.
It is a real spectacle from an architectural point of view, this monument in the memory of St Francis is a refuge for the faithful, hosting those who seek the silence and peace that only places like this can offer. Located in Chiusi della Verna, the Sanctuary is able to accommodate all those who wish to visit or stop there, whether they are believers or simple visitors looking for serenity and contact with nature.
The Casentinese forest that embraces and surrounds the Sanctuary is full of beech and fir trees and is the perfect place to find yourself. Numerous paths that can be traveled on foot enter the heart of the forest, revealing pristine and beautiful places. Given the ever-growing presence of pilgrims, the monastery has given rise over the years thanks to the initiative of the Franciscan friars, to a museum and an art gallery. Crossing the numerous rooms you will find yourself on a journey through history, religion and culture of all respect. Going to the sanctuary and spending days in the company of the friars, the faithful, the people who go there for prayer will give you new life.
Events at the Sanctuary of La Verna
The friars who live in the monastery organize religious and cultural events. They know how to be very welcoming and friendly, opening the doors of the monastery to participate in the liturgy, or simply visiting the rooms open to the public. Remember to book, this place is very popular especially if you are a mountain lover.
St. Francis of Assis with Brother Leo crossed the Montefeltro region. Arriving near the St Leo castle he heard people celebrating, so he took the opportunity to speak to the crowd and tell his prayer. There he met Count Orlando Catani of Chiusi in Casentino. He was so impressed by Francis’ words and actions that he decided to make him a gift of Mount Vernia.
Famous for a thousand reasons, beautiful as few others, this splendid Tuscan city preserves something magical inside. City of art and culture, it has given birth to people of the caliber of Francesco Petrarca and Guido d’Arezzo (even if the exact hometown of the latter is uncertain). The city has about one hundred thousand inhabitants. But the feeling you get when you go to Arezzo is to be in a small town. The characteristics of the city are typically Tuscan but highly unique, with beautiful medieval buildings with soft and warm colors. Of Etruscan origin, the city still retains evidence of ancient civilization. The oldest university in Tuscany and Europe is Arezzo. You will not be able to decide which city, monument or place will have most affected your heart, as often happens when visiting this region.