TIPS & TRICKS
San Giovanni Rotondo Story
How to get there
There are no trainlines leading to the town of San Giovanni Rotondo. The nearest train station might be a town or two away. Most travelers get to San Giovanni Rotondo by bus. There are different bus companies that service the route for and from San Giovanni Rotondo. The most important thing is to locate where exactly is the drop off at San Giovanni Rotondo as there are more than one bus stations.
Red X marks the bus station at Viale Cappuccini. This station is approximately 2-5mins walk to the Sanctuary of Saint Mary our Lady of Grace. Basically, there are more hotels within the vicinity of this bus station.
Blue X marks the bus station at Piazza Europa. As this stop is located along the road, not a designated bus station, I would suggest that you clarify with the bus driver if you do not recognise the stop.
Sanctuary of Saint Mary our Lady of Grace
The Sanctuary is situated at the intersection of Viale Padre Pio and Viale Cappuccini. The Shine opens daily from 06:00hrs to 19:30hrs (during winter and summer). The Old Crypt, Cell and Crucifix opens daily between 07:00hrs to 19:00hrs.
San Pio Da Pietrelcina
The church is situated behind the Sanctuary. Entry to the grounds of the church is from southwards from La Via Crucis Monumentale. The Upper church is open daily from 07:30hrs to 17:30hrs (unless specified) and 07:00hrs to 19:00hrs (during summer).
The Lower Church “Crypt of San Pio da Pietrelcina” opens 07:30hrs to 17:30hrs and 07:00hrs to 19:00hrs (in summer). These are the doors to the Lower Church and Crypt. No photography is permitted beyond these doors. Basically, there are at least two attendance within the Lower church to ensure that the crowd queues orderly to see the crypt. Read between the lines on how best to be able to shoot some photos within the Church.
The Stations of the Cross up the hill is situated beyond the La Via Crucis Monumentale. Arriving on Viale Padre Pio, you will find the La Via Crucis Monumentale. Walk around the monument and to up the stairs behind. As you approach the first landing, turn left and follow the footpath. This is where the Stations of the Cross Station 1 is.
Follow the paths highlighted in yellow and you will find each Station.
When it comes to grocery shopping and eating, I would like to point out that not everywhere which points out as a supermarket still exists as one. I spotted one affordable joint which serves good chips. This store is situated along the pedestrian mall, Corso Umberto I. The kebabs are huge and so are the servings for the chips. The store opens only in the evening.