Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Official web site of the Province of Teramo

Teramo Turismo

Home Itineraries Theme tours The hermitages of the Gran Sasso
Document Actions

Theme tours

The hermitages of the Gran Sasso

IGM Map, Technical description of the itinerary
Insert a start address and click to Search button

Since anyone can remember, the area just below the Gran Sasso has been chosen by saints and hermits searching for a place to nurture their spirituality far away from the world.

With this itinerary we propose a brief trip that'll bring you to discover three hermitages, true “places for the soul”, immersed in the silence and peace of the teramano mountains. All three are near the town of Isola del Gran Sasso, a short distance from the Autostrada A24 exit.

The first one is that of San Nicola di Fano a Corno, built above the 1000 meter level and reachable thanks to a convenient trail that starts from Casale San Nicola. The small church, simple and modest, has only one row of arches and is cabin shaped. It conserves the remains of frescoes on the far wall, now almost totally ruined, and are illuminated by the light that enters through the suggestive windows. A particular note to the altar that has 24 candle holders in Castelli ceramic probably made by Nicola Cappelletti. Painted on them are two miracles of Saint Nicola a Corno. Near the church there are the remains of an ancient monastery still visible dedicated to San Nicolò a Corno. The monastery was abandoned many centuries ago and was founded by San Pier Damiani.

Continue on with the Hermitage of Fra Nicola, better known as the Grotta di Frattagrande. Here, the last hermit of the Gran Sasso decided to pass the last of his days in meditation. The hermitage is situated just above Pretara, along the Ruzzo torrent. A simple flight of stairs will lead you from the road to the entrance where you'll find a cross. Immediately on your right, two small rooms bring you to the presbiterium area, and from one of these areas, a staircase leads upstairs. The small church has on it's main altar a painting depicting San Francesco di Paola to whom frà Nicola was most devoted to. In the chapel to the right, behind the altar, a big room opens up in which you can admire the scenes of the nativity built by frà Nicola.

Finally the third hermitage is the one of Santa Colomba that, after abandoning her paternal castel, belonging to the Count of Pagliara, retired to a life of penance and prayer. The small church is isolated at 1250 meters in altitude below Monte Infornace. It's reachable by car from Isola del Gran Sasso by passing through the small village of Pretara. Turn right on the white road until you reach Piano del Fiume. Leave you car and continue on to the left and take the steep trail that'll bring you to the small church.

Every year on the 1st of September, the day of the Saint's death, the devout walk in procession to the church bringing flowers to adorn the statue of the saint inside.

Teramo Turismo

This site conforms to the following standards: