|St. Michael's Cave (La Grotta di San Michele)|
how to get there:
here there is a path which, after about 15 minutes walking, leads to St.
Michael's Cave is a small cave chapel surrounded by the forests of Mount
Tancia. It is thought that originally it was sacred to the goddess Vacuna,
the Sabine goddess of the waters and the forests, in fact there was a female
figure sculpted from a stalactite in the cave, which disappeared about thirty
The christianization of the cave is closely tied to a legend which tells how, in the fourth century, the surrounding area was devastated by a dragon living in the cave. Pope Silvestro, praying one night on the nearby Mount Soratte, saw two angels accompanied by thunder and lightning descend from the sky and defeat the dragon. On the eighth of march he went to the cave together with a huge crowd and dedicated it to St. Michael. In the following centuries a monastery was erected close by the cave.
Inside the cave, which is reached from a series of steps, there is an altar, a ciborium and several frescos including an Agnus Dei, one of the Virgin Mary and another of the Archangel Michael.
From the same path that leads to St Michael's Cave other marked paths lead towards the summit of Mount Pizzuto and Mount Tancia.
Every year, in May, the inhabitants of Roccantica make a pilgrimage to St Michael's Cave.
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