Stay at the monastery - 5 hospitable monasteries in Italy

In the last few days we had a run for our money when it comes to staying overnight in the monastery. After we were already more than disappointed in the north of Italy about how little hospitality the good old monastery brothers can still offer nowadays, we have a much better picture of the Franciscan monasteries in Puglia again. Here, without exception and without much talk, we were warmly invited and received first class hospitality from monasteries of all Franciscan groups.

Basilica della Madonna die Martiri

After our night of horror in the former Capuchin monastery (which basically already counts) we were guests in the monastery of the Holy Madonna of the Martyrs in Molfetta. The name, so we learned later, did not come from the fact that people have died here from time to time for their faith. By martyrs we mean here many more pilgrims who have made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for their faith. Many of them passed this monastery either on their way there or on their way back and found shelter here. They received a warm meal, were able to wash and repair clothes and equipment, and were given the opportunity to spend the night in the monastery. In memory of them, the church bears their name today. It is also interesting to note that there is a shrine here that is virtually original from Jerusalem. It was built with stones that the travellers brought from the Holy Land individually and on foot.

The Capuchin monastery of Giovinazzo

Our next stop was the Capuchin monastery of Giovinazzo, which is also a little outside the city and directly on the sea. It is a more modern monastery with a less spectacular history, but with a close connection to the missionary work in Africa. Here too we were warmly welcomed and for one day we were part of the community of the brothers. The overnight stay itself took place in a separate part of the monastery, which is normally used for youth work.

Alter Wachturm an der italienischen Grenze

Old watch tower at the Italian border


fishing boat

The Capuchin monastery in Bari

We were particularly pleased to be accepted in this monastery, because Bari, with its 200,000 inhabitants, is one of the largest cities in Puglia and therefore not a place where you would want to be without a safe place to sleep. But this way, we were accommodated close to the center in a quiet quarter and could and in all calmness have a look to the old town and the harbor. Bari is one of the ferry ports from where you can sail to Croatia, Albania, Greece and Turkey. It is also popular with large cruise ships. Unlike Brindisi, however, there is no industrial port here, which makes landing and departure much more pleasant. For our monastery overnight stay we even got our own room with bath this time.

Älteste Kirche von Bari

The Oldest church of Bari

Santuario Santa Maria del Pozzo

From Bari, we first said goodbye to the coast again and walked towards the interior. After 14 km, we came across the Shrine of Mary of Pozzo, which is also looked after by lesser brothers. It is a place of pilgrimage for pilgrims who come here because of an image of Mary that is connected to a healing spring. This has apparently already been able to work many a miracle. For us, the place was above all a place of rest, after Bari itself had been quite restless. To our surprise, we met a familiar face as soon as we arrived. One of the brothers we had already met in Molfata, which is visiting us here today. As a place of pilgrimage to Mary, the Santuario generally offers its pilgrims a good place to sleep within the monastery walls. So staying overnight in the monastery is no problem here.

The way through the inland of Puglia

For the next three days we first landed again in ordinary parsonages. We were now in the heart of Apulia and had to find our way south to the other side of the peninsula. We discovered that we already knew some places from our last visit to the region. Among them Gioia del Colle. This time we could even look from the window of our accommodation to the door of the room where we had slept three years before.

Here are a few impressions from the path:

Places of interest in Casamassima:

Acquaviva delle Fonti in pictures:

Pictures from Gioia del Colle:

The convent of the Friars Minor in Castellaneta

The temporary conclusion of our "Overnight stay in the Tour Monastery" was the monastery of the lesser friars in Castellaneta. From here we would meet the sea again and it should be about 100 km to the next active monastery.

Die Säulen der Erde

The pillars of the earth

The slogan of the day: It still exists, the hospitality in monasteries

Stages of the day: 1st stage: 14 km, 20 m altitude gain, finish: Capuchin monastery, Giovinazzo, Italy 2nd stage: 19 km, 30 metres altitude gain, finish: Capuchin monastery, Bari, Italy 3rd stage: 12 km, 55 metres altitude gain, finish: Santuario Santa Maria del Pozzo, Capurso, Italy    

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