Romitorio di San Michele Arcangelo – Serrone, Italy - Atlas Obscura

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Romitorio di San Michele Arcangelo

Serrone, Italy

This small hermitage on Mount Scalambra was built near what some believe is the miraculous imprint of Saint Benedict's hand. 


Halfway between the medieval town of Serrone (738 meters above sea level) and the peak of Mount Scalambra, along a steep hike through the holm oak woods, there is a small stone hermitage. The Hermitage of Saint Michael stands directly against a rocky cliff and with an extraordinary view over the valley below (1105 meters above sea level).

The hermitage was restored in 1758 and local documentation has shown that it was run by the order of the Benedictines based in nearby Subiaco. They identified the site with a local tradition, which holds that Saint Benedict meditated in this specific spot in the company of three crows who showed him the path. An imprint of the saint’s hand is believed to appear on the rock nearby. Other traditions associated the imprint with the struggle between Saint Michael the Archangel—the patron saint of Serrone, to whom the hermitage is dedicated—and the Devil who, upon defeat, left an imprint of his foot in the rock.

The views from the top of Mount Scalambra are also worth the hike, despite the settlement built in the latter half of the 20th century that some say spoils the view. The trail that leads to the mountain peak winds through moss-covered and fairy-like holm oak woods.

The hermitage is only open on request or during religious processions.

Know Before You Go

Marked trails lead from Serrone and Piglio.

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April 26, 2021

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