San Giuliano Terme | Hermitage of Rupecava

Monte Pisano has always been a suitable place for those who wanted to shut themselves away in silence and live as hermits, thanks to its natural characteristics as it is rich in caves and ravines, as well as being still little known and therefore particularly suitable for finding a place to live in solitude, asceticism and contemplation. There are many testimonies to this still today: from the Monastery of Mirteto, to the Hermitage of the Spelonca to Rupecava, the oldest of all.

The Rupecava hermitage was a hermit monastery dating back to early Christianity, built on the site where rites in honour of Bacchus and the god Pan were celebrated in pagan times. The place of worship, apparently founded around the year 1000 by a hermit named Guglielmo, comprised two caves: one at the entrance to the hermitage, which later became first the monks’ refectory and then the storeroom, and the one known as ‘della Goccia’ (of the Drop), where it seems the water that dripped there had healing powers. The church, built later, housed a wooden Madonna, a work attributed to the artist Andrea Pisano, now in the Church of San Bartolomeo in Ripafratta.

The Hermitage can be reached by car, on foot or by bicycle. By car from the Silvio Pertini panoramic road in Molina di Quosa to the car park at the Monumento ai Caduti (Romagna locality). The CAI signs for the path lead after about 1 km to the Hermitage. By bicycle or on foot, we recommend starting out from Ripafratta and following path 00 to San Giovanni alla Vena. Along the trail, you will also find one of the towers of the Ripafratta fortress.

Today, the hermitage is in a state of neglect, while the church has been restored.

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