La Verna Map and Travel Guide

Visit the Spectacularly Situated Town with Etruscan Roots

La Verna is a very interesting religious pilgrimage destination on Monte Penna in Tuscany. It's the most famous place of devotion for Franciscans.

North of Arezzo is where you'll find this popular shrine in the mountains with some fabulous views of the countryside. The road from Michelangelo Caprese, where Michelangelo Buonarroti was born in 1475, winds up the wooded slopes of Mt. Sovaggio on the way to Mt. Penna, given to Francis by Count Orlando of Chuisi in 1213. Francis had a camp at la Penna in an area of strange rock formations in the forest known as La Verna, now a series of buildings from different eras that make up a sanctuary. It was here that Francis received the stigmata in 1224. Families still gather at the small Sanctuary, and some walk the the network of paths that web the mountains.

La Verna Location Map

Zoom in to see the detail of the buildings that make up La Verna and the various trails that lead to it.


View Larger Map

A walk through the forest leading to the summit of Monte Penna gives you a wide panorama view of the Tiber and the Arno valleys.

landscape from la verna sanctuary

La Verna came to be seen as sacred ground, and today the Sanctuary of La Verna features a large complex of buildings, including a museum.

Today the Sanctuary of La Verna is a pilgrimage destination in the Arezzo province of Tuscany. The religious complex has grown ove the years and today it is quite impressive. There are several churches and chapels to visit, as well as a small museum.

la verna church and chapel

Church and Chapel

The only large piazza in La Verna Sanctuary is punto di vista La Verna. The scene in the photo above was taken from this piazza.

la verna pharmacy

Pharmacy

Pharmacies were a part of most monastic settlements, and you'll find the one at La Verna at the end of your museum visit. You can order pharmacy products, including liquores, from the sanctuary as well.

La Verna Travel Tips

You really need a car to get to the Sanctuary of La Verna in comfort, but for the adventurous, you can take the private Arezzo to Pratovecchio train, and at the station of Bibbiena take a bus to Chiusi della Verna. There is also a bus from Florence that ends in Bibbiena where you can transfer to a bus for Chiusi della Verna, according to this page.

Places to Stay Near La Verna

Hotel Ristorante Buca di Michelangelo is at the base of the mountain.

Corte Dell'oca - The budget choice located to the south of La Verna in the village of Subbiano.

For those who wish to have more room to spread out than a hotel or B&B room, VRBO offers over 3000 Arezzo Area Vacation Rentals

La Verna area sights

Sanctuary of La Verna - Religious complex consisting of the Chiesa Maggiore, Santa Maria degli Angeli, Chapel of the Stigmata, Grotto, Cappella della Pieta, Cappella del Beato Giovanni della Verna, Museo del Santuario de La Verna and two cells of St. Francis. There is also a gift shop.

See this early 1900's account of getting to La Verna.

Poppi - An interesting hill town, especially when viewed from the road on your way to La Verna. Many hotels here. Poppi has a castle, the Castello Pretorio, 13th century with the "Devil's Tower" alongside. The Church of San Fedele was originally a monastic church built for the Vallumbrosan Order in the late 13th century. Hotels in Poppi

Further afield (zoom out the map) is Anghiari, which some have called the prettiest hill town in Tuscany, and Caprese Michelangelo, where Michelangelo was born. Even further afield is Arezzo.