Sicily: Cefalu, The Sanctuary of Gibilmanna
The Story behind the Sanctuary of Gibilmanna:
This is one of Sicily’s oldest sanctuaries. Located about 2400 feet above sea level, it is believed to be the first shrine in Sicily dedicated to our Blessed Mother. According to tradition, St. Gregory the Great who built the Benedictine monastery of Gibilmanna, before he was elected Pope
The name Manna comes from a sweetish substance that is collected from local Mountain Ash trees in late summer.
About the Sanctuary of Gibilmanna:
It is especially notable for the 11th Century mosaic over the main altar, that was recovered from a church that had previously stood here.
There is a museum next door containing many items from Sicily’s religious past (there is a small admission charge).
Traveling to Gibilmanna:
Address: Contrada Valle Grande, Frazione di Gibilmanna, 90015 Cefalù, Italy
GPS coordinates: 37° 59′ 13.4592” N, 14° 1′ 6.9492” E
Tel: +39 0921 421835
Click here for a semi-official website describing the Basilica.