We received an invite from the Association Santa Maria Goretti to visit Nettuno and make our own short pilgrimage from Rome to discover the life and incredible story of the young Saint.
Maria Goretti was born into a poor agricultural family in October 1890 in the town of Corinaldo in Le Marche.
She was one of 6 children and her parents decided to move to Paliano in the province of Frosinone seeking work.
They subsequently settled in the Agro Pontino in Lazio to share a large farm dwelling with the Serenelli family in Ferriere di Conca (below), not far from Nettuno.
Agriturismo I Mori Gelsi is charming farmhouse accomodation located in the green heart of Umbria, less than a mile from Torgiano one of the “Borghi Più Bella d'Italia'.
It is situated amidst the vines of the estate of Azienda Vinicola Fattoria Spinola, which produces Grechetto, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Sangiovese Colli Martini wines.
The view from the house is of the vineyards of Fattoria Spinola and in the distance is Torgiano.
The name Spinola refers to last of the Spinola Cardinals who was sent to Perugia by the Pope in 1818.
He bought the 70 acres of land which are still cultivated still today, before leaving it to the uncle of the current owner Fiorbellina's grandfather.
The main building of the fattoria was originally a 13th convent while a private chapel still exists and is consecrated.
Read more about the fascinating history of the Spinola family which can be traced back to the First Crusade a thousand years ago.
Today, Fiorebellina and her family have opened their home to anyone seeking a peaceful and relaxing getaway.
As well as the wine estate, you will find a private garden, swimming pool, wonderful unspoilt country setting panoramic view and WiFi throughout.
A little northeast of the provincial capital Benevento is the birthplace of Padre Pio.
As you might expect the hamlet of Pietrelcina has become an important pilgrim destination but it still retains its evocative medieval feel.
The U Fistinu of Saint Rosalia is one of the most famous and popular festivals in Sicily.
The birth of the first Festino of Saint Rosalia was in the year 1624 on Pellegrino mountain, when the Saint appeared in a vision to a hunter from Palermo.
She told him where her body (that had disappeared upon her death) was buried. When the hunter returned to the city (where a terrible plague was decimating the population), he informed everyone about the appearance.
They went to the mountain, dug in the exact place she had specified to the hunter and found the body of the Saint!
At that moment the terrible infection disappeared and the miracle was taken as a telltale sign to celebrate her as the Patron Saint of the city from that time forth.
Saint Rosalia, in the following years, reached rock star status of popularity even though some claim that the bones of the Saint (that are protected in the sanctuary at the top of Monte Pellegrino) are actually those of a goat.
The Madonna Della Bruna refers to the Byzantine relic which is paraded every 2nd of July is the festival for this patron saint of Matera.
The event begins at the crack of dawn when the local shepherds parade through the old quarters of the town.
Originally, they would collect their fellow workers as they went and the procession acted as a kind of social wake up call.
The evening sees the more significant pulling of the cart of the Madonna towards the cathedral.
This procession whips up the crowd into genuine excitement and at its climax the cart becomes assaulted by the crowd as people grab pieces as tokens.
Many say this represents the repeated sackings of the town by the Saracens many years ago.