1525 Meters Atop

San Pellegrino in Alpe is a village high atop the peaks of the Italian Apennines at the edge of the Garfagnana region – 1525 metres above sea level. The village church was originally constructed sometime in the 13th century in order to receive the relics of San Pellegrino, an early Irish hermit who lived in a cave in the Apeninnes. Just beyond this church is a ridge built – as legend has it – by sinners who carried stones for four days to this place. Naturally, the greater the sin, the heavier the stone. A rough wood cross marks the spot.

On the saint’s day of August 1st, a new cross made from beechwood replaces the old with the fanfare of a procession and dedication prayers. But in the meantime, pilgrims cannot resist the lure of a true relic – a splinter cut from the cross.

Atop: The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge

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7 comments

    • The photos were taken in September and I waited for half an hour to take the first photo when no one was chipping away at the cross. I wonder if much of it will remain by the next August! San Pellegrino in Alpe is a wonderful place – the church and the ethnographic museum there is well worth a visit, to say nothing of the vistas.

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