Visiting Cascia, the city of Saint Rita!
Cascia is a small town in Umbria, in the countryside, in the province of Perugia, best known for being the place where Saint Rita lived, it is visited every year by thousands of faithful on pilgrimage of the Saint, to look in these places for signs of their life, your faith and your miracles. Would you like to visit Cascia, the city of Saint Rita? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
1) Visiting Cascia, the city of Santa Rita! ABOUT THE CITY OF CASCIA
Founded in Roman times, Cascia lived the greatest splendor in the Middle Ages, before under the lordship of Foligno, then under the rule of Frederick II of Swabia and later fought, from the neighboring city of Norcia, Leonessa and Spoleto . At the limit of 1500, however, he surrendered to the Papal State and remained under its rule for less than 30 years, since he continued to maintain his independence. We said that anyone who comes to Cascia certainly visits it for devotion to Saint Rita, the nun, who was beatified in 1900 and who lived between 1381 and 1457, known as a dispenser of grace and revered around the world. Find out here all about Religious Tourism in Italy.
- Cascia does not have a train station, so check out our options with departures from Rome after Cascia’s history.
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2) Visiting Cascia, the city of Saint Rita! BASILICA AND THE MONASTERY
The most visited places are the Basilica dedicated to her and the Monastery where she lived. Other places of worship in the city are the Church of Santa Maria della Visitazione (“Saint Mary of the Visitation”), the Church of Saint Anthony Abbot and the Church of Saint Francis. While in other places that are of historical interest, we have to mention the Civic Museum and the Roman temple in the Church of the Village of Saint Sylvester, an attraction of Cascia. Read also: How to go Cassia from Rome?
3) Visiting Cascia, the city of Saint Rita! SAINT RITA OF CASCIA, HER LIFE, HER MIRACLES
Let’s get to know more about the Saint, her life and her miracles. Saint Rita de Cascia, one of the most revered figures and invoked by practitioners of Catholicism, was born in 1381 in Roccaporena, a small town in Cascia. Named “Margarida”, although everyone called her Rita. For the will of the father he married by resignation, to enter an Augustinian convent according to those who were aspirations. After eighteen years of a troubled and violent marriage, her exemplary conduct led her husband to convert.
In a period of common intestinal battles, her husband was killed by the Carmo family; “Margarida” to avoid the bloody and endless, she forgave her countrymen and was received at the Monastery of the Augustinian Sisters of Mary Magdalene. In 1442, on the night of Good Friday, she received the stigmas of a thorn in the crown of the Crucifix, which according to tradition, she placed on her forehead. On May 22th, 1447 she died and despite being the object of veneration in the last years of her life, it was only in 1628 that she was beatified by Pope Urban VIII and on May 24th, 1900 she was sanctified by Pope Leo XIII.
Month of Saint Rita
Nowadays Saint Rita is celebrated in May (to coincide with the anniversary of her death) in Cascia with a 10-day celebration that refers to the history and tradition of the Saint.
The First Miracle
The first miracle that is attributed, which dates back 5 days after her birth, the miracle of the White Bees: the parents, involved in the harvest, left Rita in a cradle under a tree, where 5 white bees approached, who started to enter and come out of her mouth, but without a sting, in fact, depositing honey in her mouth. A farmer, in a nearby field, cuts his hand deeply with a scythe. In a panic, he left his job for treatment. Passing in front of the crib, and seeing the bees buzzing over Rita, he tried to push them away with his injured hand, which was surprisingly healed.
In the Monastery he remained until his death, on May 22, 1457, at seventy-six years old. It is said that she completed five other miracles before his death: such as that of the grape vine that still bears today and that is still inside the sanctuary, that of the stigma of Christ’s crown on his forehead. In fact, just before she died, bedridden, she asked her cousin to bring her a rose and two figs from her father’s house. It was winter, but the fruit was there and her cousin took it. For this reason, the rose became his symbol par excellence, a slender and humble woman who managed to prosper despite the many thorns that life had reserved, giving the fragrance of Christ and melting the winter ice of many hearts.
On the day of his death, a swarm of black bees (on the walls) of the convent was sighted, and even today they have nests near the tree of life, and the bells rang on their own. Even today it is said that whenever Santa Rita intercedes for a miracle of her body, preserved in the Basilica of Santa Rita de Cássia, she exhales the scent of rose. For this reason, it is also called “Saint of the Rose” and “Saint of the Thorn” by the people, and “Saint of the Impossible” given the number of miracles that have been attributed to her.
4) Visiting Cascia, the city of Saint Rita? PLACES OF WORSHIP OF PILGRIMAGE
The Basilica of Saint Rita: A place irradiated with light. Cascia is linked to the life of the Saint augustinian nun who led a life of holiness, charity, piety, and penance, now the patron saint of the city. The most visited places are the Basilica of Saint Rita and the Monastery where she lived. The places that pilgrims can visit are many, as mentioned, the most important ones are the Basilica dedicated to her, the Monastery, where she lived for forty years, other places of worship are the Church of Santa Maria della Visitazione (“Saint Mary of Visitation”), Church of Saint Anthony Abbot and the Church of Saint Francis.
The Basilica and the Monastery
The Basilica was built in the first half of the 20th century, in memory of the Saint. As for the Monastery, which dates back to 1200, it is precisely the one where she lived in the first half of the 15th century. A colorful church, but at the same time a place of worship, but also of art. The chapel of Saint Rita is located behind a large iron railing where there is an urn with his body inside.
About the Basilica
The Basilica, covered in white travertine stones typical of Tivoli, features a Greek cross plan with lateral apses and four large central domes denominating the presbytery. The artist Eros Pellini sculpted its main portal of the life of Saint Rita of Cascia and its interior, in Carrara marble, the phases of the Via Sacra.
About the Monastery
The Monastery, however, houses a community of sisters, it is therefore a place of prayer, visits are only allowed in groups and at certain times of the day. The Monastery is a place worth visiting. You will be able to admire the characteristic cloister with the well, where the saint took water for household chores.
The Crucifix Oratory and the Rose Garden
The crucifix oratory, where tradition says that Saint Rita received the thorns on her forehead. The wonderful rose garden, the door next to Saint Rita’s cell, and the Saint Rita rose garden, created in memory of the miracle of roses and figs. The rose is the symbol of excellence, it indicates that Saint Rita managed to bloom, despite the thorns that life has reserved, giving the fragrance of Christ and melting the winter ice of so many hearts. The two figs, however, most likely represent her children and the realization that you are, in spite of everything, safe.
You can see the image of Saint Rita in this sacred resting room, often dedicated to the night of prayer and contemplation of the Passion of Jesus. In another image you can see the Saint’s wedding ring, formed by two hands joined in a sign of loyalty and the Rosary. The two images are the urn that contains the body of the Saint and the other is the urn with the wedding ring.
In this place, you will find peace, tranquility, serenity, that will accompany you throughout the journey. In the Penitentiary you can see the fountain of life, a large stone with cracks, where water flows with bronze doves that drink. Other places of historical interest include the civic museum and the Roman temple attached to the Church of Village of Saint Sylvester, a fraction of Cascia.
Where was Saint Rita born?
Not far from Cascia is Roccaporena, the place where Saint Rita was born and spent her life in the convent of Cascia. Here it is possible to visit the house where she lived, her garden and the place where she used to gather in prayer. For those who believe and those looking for a place to find peace and faith, Saint Rita’s places of life are a great choice. So, for those who believe and those who are looking for a place to find peace and faith, Saint Rita’s main locations are definitely a great choice.
5) Visiting Cascia, the city of Saint Rita? OTHER PLACES
What to see in Cascia besides the buildings and cults linked to the Saint? Another place of worship is the Church of Santa Maria della Visitazione, an ancient Roman church with corridors and an internal appearance from the 16th century. Here is the fountain where, according to tradition, it was baptized Saint Rita, it is unthinkable to leave without having visited the Gothic church of Saint Francis and the church of Saint Anthony Abbot (from 1400 it presents a series of paintings on the history of the Saint).
The Church of Saint Anthony Abbot, originally from 1400 but modified and restored in the Baroque period, has a series of paintings on the history of the Saint. Other main architectural works that can be appreciated and visited when visiting the city belong to the medieval period, such as the Gothic church of Saint Francis, which add beauty to the rose and its arched door, che colpisce per la bellezza del rosone and del suo portone ogivale, and Saint Augustine, where they have wonderful examples of Umbrian and Perugian paintings.
How to get to Cascia?
1) How to get to Cascia? BY CAR
Autostrada del Sole A1 Florence – Rome, for those coming from the North: Valdichiana exit, coming from the South-Orte exit. Or by the Autostrada Adriatica A14 Bologna – Taranto, for those coming from the North: Exit Civitanova Marche. Coming from the South, Exit S. Benedetto del Tronto. Read here some Examples of trip-by-car Itineraries in Italy.
Park nearby and walk! Read also TRAVELING BY CAR IN ITALY: EXAMPLES OF TOURS. If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.
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No parking spots!
This option is ideal if you like to drive, however, it is important to know that in touristic cities there are places (like old towns) where PARKING is PROHIBITED, and only residents’ cars can be there! So it is important not to go to these places without knowing timetables and traffic limits, so as not to take unnecessary fines. PAY ATTENTION! In Italy it is common for them to tow the car or put that hubcap that blocks the vehicle’s exit! Take care, alright?!
How to know where these spots are?
See the post How not to get fined in Italy – ZTL that talks about it, but anyway another tip for those who are unsure about it, is to park a little outside the downtown and take a walk; if you don’t want to walk, spend a little more, and take a taxi or public transport.
2) How to get to Cascia? BY BUS
Read the post how to get to Cascia from Rome and get all the information and tips.
3) How to get to Cascia? BY TRAIN
Line ROMA-ANCONA, Line ROMA-FLORENCE. The nearest station is Spoleto and then you must take a bus to Cascia. Know that Trenitalia is the main Italian company dedicated to the management of railway transport. Find out here “What is the difference between trains in Italy“. Buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?”.
Did you know that Trenitalia is the main Italian company dedicated to the management of railway transport? Find out here “What is the difference between trains in Italy?”. Buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?”.
4) How to get to Cascia? WITH A GROUP TOUR
Click here with no commitment and check the value of a Group Tour to Assisi and Cascia from Rome!
5) How to get to Cascia? PRIVATE TOUR
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6) How to get to Cascia? BY AIRPLANE
Umbro S. Egidio Regional Airport – Perugia (Tel. 075/592141 – www.airport.umbria.it) or Rome International Airport – Leonardo Da Vinci. See HOW TO GO FROM ROME AIRPORT TO ROME CENTER. But if you are arriving from other airports, also read our Special Posts on Airports in Italy:
Also read our Special Posts on Airports in Italy:
- HOW TO GO FROM THE MALPENSA AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF MILANO?
- HOW TO GO FROM THE VENICE AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF VENICE?
Staying in Cascia is an unique experience that satisfies the soul and the body, letting you take home a feeling of deep relaxation and inner peace. All this is Cascia, the city that lies in the heart of Valneriana, where the intense flavors of the cuisine are linked with the sophistication of the works of art that this land in the south-east of Umbria. All this immersed in natural landscapes peaks and mountains that rivers and streams draw, from the embedded valleys, old villages to be discovered.
In Cascia, on May 21st and 22nd each year, there are festivals in honor of Saint Rita. But at any time of the year it is recommended to visit this village and its surroundings and to have a weekend in Umbria, so we can take a break for meditation in these places that are great for the spirit and mind!
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