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Hermitage/Church of Madonna di Coccia

Municipality: Campo di Giove (AQ)

Locality: Situated along the path to Guado di Coccia at about 1,320 m a.s.l.

Building: Built on the side of a rock, the hermitage is inserted transversely into the mountain slope and adapts to the orography of the ground.
It is formed by two rooms: a little rectangular church and a quadrangular housing sector next to it, but at a lower altitude. The church front is an eighteenth-century portal and has two little rectangular windows of grey stone, similar to the ones of St. Michele Arcangelo in Pescocostanzo, while, on the inside, there's a little stucco tabernacle, that once held a bas-relief depicting the Virgin with the Child.
The sector destined to house functions to the right, instead, should have developed on two levels. The ground floor was divided in two very low rooms without windows, probably used as woodshed and stable, whereas the first floor had to be a real dormitory, where traces of the earthenware floor are still present near the perimetric walls.

History and traditions: The only historic fact known to be certain is graven into the architrave of the entrance portal of the church; the inscription recalls the renovation in 1748, funded by Michele Vella. The church was probably damaged and abandoned after the earthquake in 1706. The Madonna di Coccia, with the St. Germano's church in Pacentro, is one of the few remaining examples of church-shelter-bivouac in Abruzzo. In fact, this place was a constrained transit point for everyone getting to the bivouac of Guado di Coccia and it offered a safe shelter for the night. In 2009 the church underwent a renovation funded by the National Park of the Majella Entity.

Reachable by path: (L- Freedom Path)

Visit information: Information Centre in Campo di Giove and Cansano – Tel. +39.320.8134997 - +39.0864.576185

Image of a detail of the hermitage of "Madonna di Coccia"
Image of the panorama with the building "Madonna di Coccia"
Image of a detail of the hermitage of "Madonna di Coccia"
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