The Hermitage of Calomini is another mandatory stop if you visit the Garfagnana. It is a striking architectural complex located at the base of a wall about 70 meters high carved into the rock for 15 meters.
Driving along the road to the village of Vergemoli, in the direction of Grotta del Vento, this white sanctuary set in the rock, dedicated to Santa Maria ad Martyres, suddenly appears and immediately gives the impression of being a place of peace and serenity.
Hermitage of Calomini was built around the year 1,000 on the site where the apparition of the Madonna is said to have taken place.
The sacred image, sketched in a willow wood statue, is venerated under the name Madonna della Penna.
The living rock is still visible in the presbytery and sacristy, while the primitive little church over the years has undergone various phases of expansion and enrichment of structures.
Hermits of Calomini took care of it until 1868 then custody passed to the Capuchin fathers of Lucca and today it is under the Disciples of the Annunciation.
Eremo di Calomini: what to do
The visit to the Calomini Hermitage is free of charge. When we scheduled the visit, the gate was open but the door to the Sanctuary was bolted so we could not access it.
On the other hand, we were able to admire the cave with the living rock and the fabulous view of the valley from the Sanctuary’s churchyard, as well as admire its manicured and colorful gardens, being flowering season.
The visit to the Hermitage of Calomini in itself takes very little time, half an hour to an hour maximum, so we recommend combining it with lunch at the agriturismo nearby, where we ate divinely!
Eremo di Calomini: where to eat
Agriturismo Antica Trattoria dell’Eremita
Just a few minutes’ walk from the parking lot of the Hermitage, following a country path where a nativity scene has been set up in the woods, you arrive at this fantastic farmhouse surrounded by greenery and with authentic cuisine.
If you wish, you can also arrive by car and leave it in the square in front of the facility.
The sunny day allowed us to sit at the outdoor tables and we were able to enjoy a charcuterie and cheese board with homemade bread, cannelloni, baked trout with potatoes, and panna cotta.
Trout and poultry are raised by them and the water is strictly taken from the fountain. Quality at a great price (about 40 euros including a quart of wine).
There are also some small games for children.
The farm has rooms and an apartment for those who wish to stay overnight.
Opening hours of Eremo di Calomini
Saturday 10:00 – 12:00 and 15:00 – 18:00
After the 5 p.m. Mass, the shrine closes.
Sunday 9:00 – 12:00
Tel – +39 (0)583 767003.
How to reach the Eremo di Calomini
One must take the road that runs along the Turrite di Gallicano, in the direction of Fornovolasco/Grotta del Vento.
Leaving the junction for Verni and Trassilico on the left, it is necessary to take, after about half a kilometer, the narrow road on the right which is only passable by cars and which, in less than a kilometer, leads to the square of the Hermitage where there is a small parking area reserved for visitors.
▶ You might also be interested in Discovering Garfagnana with children.