High altitude spirituality
The State Roads 652 and 17 make it possible to begin our journey to the Five Miles Plan; right at the entrance of the Plan, in the territory of Rivisondoli, 1200 meters above sea level, is the Sanctuary - Romitorio di Santa Maria, called della Portella from the narrow gorge in which it stands. The origins of the construction date back to the thirteenth century and was erected to house a miraculous effigy of the Virgin who, while being transported from distant regions, became in this place so heavy that it could no longer be removed. The building has annexed some rooms in which the last of the hermits devoted to the care of the church lived until a few decades ago. From here, taking the regional Frentana road 84, you go to Pescocostanzo. Without entering the town and continuing on the provincial road 55 for Cansano-Sulmona, about 3 km from the town, turn right onto the inter-estate road that leads to the hermitage of San Michele Arcangelo. Rupestrian church of the 13th century at the foot of Monte Pizzalto, in a not very high position on the Quarto Grande. Cave-hermitage in which the rustic structure of the vault and the inlaid ends created with the local white stone create a marked contrast. Returning to the provincial road for Cansano, you reach the natural reserve of the Sant'Antonio wood. Here, at the edge of the woods, is the small church with the annex of the hermitage of "Sant'Antonio in Primo Campo". The building dating back to the twelfth century, emanates a pastoral simplicity. The two hermitages can be visited by contacting the Municipality.
Pietro's photo - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48238764