1. Sanctuary of San Michele, Monte Sant’Angelo (Foggia)
  2. Convent of San Francesco del Deserto, Venice
  3. Monastery and Hermitage of Camaldoli, Poppi (Arezzo)
  4. San Domenico Palace Hotel, Taormina (Messina)
  5. Rosazzo Abbey, Manzano (Udine)
  6. Vallombrosa Abbey, Reggello (Florence)
  7. Sanctuary of Oropa, Biella
  8. Benedictine Monastery of San Pietro di Sorres, Borutta (Sassari)
  9. Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Closures (Siena)
  10. Hermitage of San Giorgio, Bardolino (Verona)

Photo by Acer11. You want to switch off , away from the traffic and noise of the city.
A nice spiritual retreat to find some serenity with yourself and with the world around us is possible. We all need to switch off, especially when the frenzy and rhythms of today’s life do not allow us to dedicate ourselves to ourselves, and lead us to neglect soul , body and mind .
For a real hermit holiday , it is not necessary to go too far from home: in Italy there are several places where it is possiblefind calm , in total relaxation , meditating and listening to that beautiful almost forgotten sound that takes the name of “silence”.
But no more chatter, here are some possible places you can choose for your hermit holidays; we just have to wish you a good inner healing !

1 – Sanctuary of San Michele, Monte Sant’Angelo (Foggia)
Photo by User: Nikater. Recognized in 2011 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site , the Convent-Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo is located on Monte Sant’Angelo , in the province of Foggia. This is the most famous sanctuary dedicated to the Archangel Michael, a unique basilica of its kind, formed by a complex of buildings from different eras around the Natural Grotto . Here lives the Congregation of the Sisters of San Michele Arcangelo , and right next to the basilica is the Hotel Casa del Pellegrino which includes 50 rooms.

2 – Convent of San Francesco del Deserto, Venice

San Francesco del Deserto is an island in the Venetian Lagoon , and extends for about 4 hectares between Sant’Erasmo and Burano . It is here that the convent of minor friars is located, originally founded by St. Francis himself .
Just five kilometers from Venice , almost isolated from the rest of the world, and completely out of time, this tiny congregation of Franciscans organizes spiritual stays in what is now considered one of the most evocative sacred places in the nation.

3 – Monastery and Hermitage of Camaldoli, Poppi (Arezzo)
Photo by Francesco Gasparetti. The Sacred Hermitage and the Monastery of Camaldoli were founded about a thousand years ago by the Benedictine hermit monk San Romualdo . These structures are immersed in a suggestive forest of the Tuscan-Romagna Apennines , near which there arefarmhouses specially structured to receive families in holiday periods. There are also other structures that can accommodate groups of up to 40 people and have excellent facilities such as kitchen or kitchenette, living room, dining room and bedrooms with single or bunk beds.

4 – San Domenico Palace Hotel, Taormina (Messina)
Photo by DavidGeen. From a monastery of the 1400s a structure emerges that today is nothing less than a 5-star luxury hotel : the San Domenico Palace Hotel ! That would be enough to describe this place overlooking a wonderful sea. From here it is possible to walk to thenucleus of the old part of Taormina , which since the times of Ancient Rome has been a crossroads of all the cultures of the Mediterranean basin and beyond. The hotel has a wellness center , a boutique , a fitness area , swimming pool and excellent restaurants .

5 – Rosazzo Abbey, Manzano (Udine)
Photo by YukioSanjo. The Rosazzo Abbey is a complex located in the district of Rosazzo in the municipality of Manzano (Udine). History tells us about the hermit Alemannothat in the 19th century he settled in these places far from the world with one purpose: to find peace of mind ; a small oratory was built here which later became the monastery of the regular canons of Sant’Agostino . Today this “monastery of roses”, located about twenty kilometers from Udine , has become a cultural center which includes 3 single and 11 double rooms, all equipped with bathroom.

6 – Vallombrosa Abbey, Reggello (Florence)
Photo by Giuseppe Moscato photographer. Not far from the Tuscan capital , inside the homonymous Biogenetic State Nature Reserve, stands the Abbey of Vallombrosa. This was built as a Romanesque church, undergoing various transformations over time, especially during the 1700s. Today the Vallombrosa Abbey contains important works of art, a museum and even a small pharmacy. It is managed by the Vallombrosani , that is a group belonging to the Benedictine congregation , of which they have maintained the right hospitality rule . Although there are 39 rooms, only 13 of these have private facilities , so it is advisable to book early.

7 – Sanctuary of Oropa, Biella
Photo by Twice25. About twelve kilometers north of Biella stands the Sanctuary of Oropa , dedicated to the Black Madonna. Here we are at about 1,159 meters above sea level, in a natural amphitheater of mountains belonging to the Biellese Prealps that surround the city. The sanctuary includes – in addition to the Sacro Monte di Oropa – the church originally built on the basis of an ancient place of worship, and the sanctuary still present today, with some structures intended for the hospitality of faithful and tourists: over 300 rooms with all types of accommodation (from the hostel to the suite ) and fixed rates from 20 euros upwards.

8 – Benedictine Monastery of San Pietro di Sorres, Borutta (Sassari)
Photo by Gianni Careddu. This monastery is known for being the only one in Sardinia to offer hospitality. THEBenedictine monks who live here are famous for their restoration of ancient books : for many, watching them at work is an experience to live. In the Benedictine Monastery of San Pietro di Sorres we can count on 30 rooms, including single, double and triple, even if the monks are keen to specify that their hospitality is not intended to transform the monastery into a hotel: this is why the people who they come to spend their time here and are invited to participate actively in the daily spiritual life .

9 – Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Chiusure (Siena)
Photo by Acer11. Located between Montepulciano and Montalcino , ilBenedictine Monastery of Monte Oliveto Maggiore offers visitors a small farmhouse , and accommodation in the old 16th century guesthouse . During vespers , at nightfall, in the monastery you can hear the Gregorian chants of the monks , an evocative experience to say the least. Tourists can count on a restaurant within walking distance of the monastery for meals.

10 – Hermitage of San Giorgio, Bardolino (Verona)
Not far from the city of Verona , right on Lake Garda , stands the Hermitage of San Giorgio , which was founded in the mid-17th century. The hermitage is run by theCamaldolese congregation of the Benedictine order , and it is possible to stay here – usually – from Monday to Friday, during which guests are invited to participate in moments of prayer . The ancient herbal arts of the Camaldolese offer visitors a good range of honey , royal jelly and even cosmetic products .

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