Travelling independently to San Giovanni Rotondo
Direct flight Dublin/Rome. shop around for a good deal on the internet. There are two airports in Rome. Charters usually land at Ciampino Airport while the main airport is Fiumicino. A taxi will be necessary from Ciampino but if you land at Fiumicino you can take a lift down to the underground and get a train into Rome's central station - quicker and cheaper than a taxi. Before leaving the station book your train for the following morning.
Foggia is the nearest train station to San Giovanni Rotondo. Trains depart Rome's termini station around 7.30am and 9 a.m.. There are also trains in the afternoon. The first trains are Rapido or Intercity and these are worth travelling on. Journey time from Rome is approximately four hours.
A SITA coach leaves from opposite the station in Foggia for the one hour journey to San Giovanni.

San Giovanni is full of hotels, however, these can be full at certain times, i.e. St.Pio feast day etc. Also avoid Sundays, if possible, because of the coach tours arriving from all over Italy. You will experience long queues at week-ends.

We cannot give exact schedules of departures because times are constantly changing. Check times when booking your tickets. In Italy it is important to book a seat on the train and you will be given a seat number. check that there are no further surcharges.
Leaving Rome or any northern city in Italy, take the A.25 Autostrada for L'aquila. Branch off onto the A.24 in the direction of Pescara/Chieti. Proceed south and exit at San Severo. Follow indications for San Giovanni Rotondo which is about a half hour's drive.
If you are travelling from Naples or the southern part of Italy you take the A.14 Autostrada for Napoli/Bari and exit at Candela. You then continue to the city of Foggia. Before entering Foggia, turn left into the ring road and follow signs for Manfredonia/San Giovanni Rotondo

Here is a letter from a pilgrim whose experience and advice on travelling to San Giovanni is welcomed:-

I have just returned from a European trip which included a trip to San Giovanni Rotondo. I found information on your website and others a great help on how to get there. I include a report which may be of help to others who are considering making the trip.

Padre Pio Pilgrimage: Independent travelers from Naples to San Giovanni Rotondo 21/7/2007

Exit Naples railway station and face the main Piazza. A modern awning forms an angular horned shape at the front of the station. Move to the left hand point of the awning, you should now be opposite the Stars Hotel Termini. The bus to Foggia leaves from here every hour and you buy your ticket on the bus(cost 9 euros). At the time of writing this, a lot of work was going on in and around the Piazza so ask if you have the right bus before boarding. Alternatively, there is a bus ticket sellers outlet in the Ettiore Bar beside the Stars Hotel Termini. If the present terminus for the Foggia bus has been moved then this is as good a place as any to make inquiries about its whereabouts. The bus to Foggia terminates in front of the Foggia railway station and directly across the piazza from the station on a corner is the Kiwi Bar where you can buy a ticket for the bus from Foggia to San Giovanni Rotondo (cost 2.60 euros). As you exit the Kiwi Bar, cross the road immediately outside the bar but stay on the square and you will see two "SITA" bus stops outside the Pot Gelateria ice-cream shop. The bus stop furthest from the Kiwi Bar is the stop for San Giovanni. There is a good bus service to and from San Giovanni Rotondo. The journey takes about 1hr 10mins and terminates at the Sanctuary itself, you may not be able to see the Sanctuary immediately because it may be obscured by the bus shelter but you are less than 50m from all the main sites. Return tickets can be bought at the "SITA" agents kiosk on the side of the little terminus which is furthest from the bus shelter. Itís worth noting that the colour of the buses in not always the same, the one I took to San Giovanni was blue but the return bus was green so the motto is "always ask".

The Church of Our Lady of Grace stays open all day, however offices and access to the Friary closes at 12.30 and remains closed until 4 o'clock. Ask to be directed to the English Office where you will always find someone who speaks English.
Places of interest - St.Pio's tomb. Tour of the Friary. Way of the Cross - (if you do not wish to take the steps, there is a walkway entrance further up the road). Site of the New Church. St.Pio's Hospital.


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