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San Marco in Lamis, Province of Foggia, Puglia

san-marco-in-lamis coatofarms Situated partly in the plain and partly among the hills and Gargano promontory, the center lies in a Karst area connected to the Stignano valley to the west and the Starale valley to the east.

Through these valleys the pilgrims used to walk to the sanctuary of Saint Micheal, passing through San Giovanni Rotondo and the marshes (the ancient Lake of Sant'Egidio). This route was called Via Sacred Langobardorum, since at the time of the Lombard occupation the sanctuary gained in importance, being St. Michael the Archangel much worshipped by the Northern invaders (the Archangel actually replaced their pagan veneration for Hercules).

Info

  • Altitude: 642 mt a.s.l
  • Population: about 7800 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 71014
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0882
  • Patron Saint: St. Marco Evangelista (25 april), San Matteo Evangelista and Maria SS. Addolorata (21 September)
  • Frazioni & Localities: Borgo Celano

History

The origins of the town are closely connected to the Convent of San Matteo, previously called San Giovanni in Lamis. The name Lamis probably derives from the swamps (lamae) where the local shepherds found shelter in order to escape from the Saracens. The regular flow of pilgrims to the shrine of San Michael left traces also in the language. The name San Marco de Lama appears for the first time in a 1095 diploma of Norman Count Henry. The town was for a long time a dependence of the monastery of San Giovanni in Lamis, then in 1578 the political center was moved to the town.

In the 18th century there was a remarkable demographic development, and in 1793 San Marco became a royal city. Economy and trade flourished, in spite of brigandage and the cholera epidemics of 1837, 1865, 1886. Local crafts, especially handicraft in iron, wood and gold, were greatly appreciated. The 20th century marked a gradual depopulation to the larger Italian cities and abroad, but recently the trend changed again thanks to tourism development. The emblem is a lion standing on 2 hills with the Book of Gospel in its claws, where the words "Pax tibi Marce Evangelista meus"; the lion represents St Mark the Gospelwriter.

What to see

  • The Sanctuary of San Matteo Apostolo, presently a convent of the Franciscan Friars
  • The historical center, with the two ancient districts called "Padula" and "Lu Casalotte", with the typical entrances called mugnali, outer staircases ending in a small openair landing.

Events and Festivities

  • Good Friday, the procession of "fracchie"
  • 19 march, the Fanoje of San Giuseppe
  • 3rd Monday to 3rd Wednesday of May: pilgrimage to the grotto of San Michele
  • The last Sunday in July, procession for the SS. Vergine from Stignano, festival of the "sala fredda" in the nearby hamlet of Celano
  • August-September: festival of Sound and Visual Communication.

Where to stay