5. Apulia: Monte Sant'Angelo Tour with Guide
Start the tour at the caste of Monte Sant’Angelo, originally a Byzantine castle built before the year 1000. The castle was later flanked by the so-called Tower of Giants, an 18 meters tall, 3 meters wide monument that was expanded by the Normans, Swabians, and Aragonese.
Visit the various rooms within the castle including the treasure room, and wander through the impressive walkways which have panoramic views of the entire city and the Gargano.
After the castle, head to the Sanctuary of Saint Micheal to admire the imposing octagonal tower built by Charles I of Anjou on the model of Castle del Monte. Continue onto the cave of Saint Michael which is accessed from the Angevin staircase, the devotional museum, and the crypts.
Travel down the Angevin staircase until you reach the “terrestrial home” of Saint Michael, the cave, and experience a sense of spirituality and mysticism that is unexplainable.
At the main altar, admire the Statue of Saint Michael the Archangel, in Carrara marble, holding a sword that symbolizes the power over evil that comes from God. Further inside the cave, find the episcopal chair and the statue of San Sebastiano.
Experience the rich history held within the walls of the crypt which dates back to the Lombard age, and still bears rich inscriptions along the walls that document the influx of pilgrims from all over the world.
Retrace the steps of Saint Francis of Assisi, who visited in 1216 and, not feeling worthy to enter the cave, stopped in prayer and recollection at the entrance, repeatedly kissing the earth and engraving on a stone the sign of the cross in shape of "T", a sign that is still visible and revered as a relic.
The tour ends with a fascinating trip to the museum and to the lapidarium inside the basilica.