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Hermitage of St. Onofrio dell'Orfento

Municipality: Caramanico Terme (PE)

Locality: Orfento River Valley, at about 1,030 m a.s.l.

Structure: Placed on the right riverside of the Orfento, below the St. Giovanni's cave, the hermitage leans against a southern rocky wall and the edifice follows the building typology common to the hermitages on Maiella.
The structure is almost entirely caved-in, but a part of the lateral wall of the church – about 14 m long – is still visible, together with the entrance with only the right jamp and a small belfry.
The roof, built with wooden girders, was supported by the wall with a small cornice of about 10 m long. Some residual painted plasters are visible both on the frontal wall and on the lateral walls. In addition to the church, there was also an housing area, developing for about 15 m.

History and traditions: The origins of the hermitage are not known. Even though it is near to the St. Giovanni's hermitage of Celestino, it is not mentioned neither in the biographies nor in the canonization process of Celestino the V.
It is probably a modern-age foundation. In the middle seventeenth century the hermitage was already abandoned.
Giosuè Maria Saggese, the bishop of Chieti, in his 1844's Raccolta di Notizie Storiche sulle parrocchie della diocesi di Chieti (Collection of historical facts on the parishes in the diocese of Chieti) writes: “The surroundings of Caramanico must be remembered for the many hermitages which the monks of Maiella had around in the mountains' gorges, like the St. Onofrio's hemritage, in the great valley where there are still some remains”. In the past, defunct people died on the mountain – woodmen, coalmen, shepherds, farmers – were sometimes buried in the church of the hermitage.

Environment. Woods with a prevalence of beech; limestone mountainsides with chasmophytic vegetation.

Reachable by path: S (Spirit Path)

Visit information: Visitors' Centre in Caramanico Terme – Tel. +39.085.922343

Image of a detail of the Hermitage "St. Onofrio dell'Orfento"
Image of ruins of the Hermitage "St. Onofrio dell'Orfento"
Image of ruins of the Hermitage "St. Onofrio dell'Orfento"
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