If you are struggling between the hustle and bustle of the everyday life, come with us to a very special, and silent, place: the Hermit Church or Eremo of San Cataldo in Esanatoglia.
It is quite remote, we have to warn you, but hence the name! The monks are not famous for choosing crowded places, but far and charming ones!
Before you reach the municipality of Esanatoglia from the north via the SP29, turn right (indicated) into a small road. Halfway you reach the Villa Seminario, a former Capuchin monastery. Here you can park and continue on foot or continue driving, if you don’t feel particular sporty. The road is getting worse but if you have a 4×4 you shall manage.
At the entrance of the path to the church, you park and you walk to the Eremo via 14 columns with pictures from the life of Jesus Christ (this is what we call “Via Crucis”, and it is typical of every remote eremo ).
After a short trip on a good path, you will be rewarded with a fantastic view of Esanatoglia.
The church is unfortunately closed and appears to be open only on 9th and 10th May on the feast day of Saint Cataldo, when there is also a procession happening. At first there was a watchtower on this spot to keep an eye on the surroundings especially against all raids of neighboring municipalities such as Fabriano, Matelica and Camerino.
In the following video of the Marche region you can see the inside of the church:
The cult of St. Cataldo, a saint of Irish descent and bishop of Taranto spread around the year 1000 in the Macerata area. In 1616 the people of Esanatoglia asked him as 2nd patron alongside Saint Anatolia. Of the many miracles attributed to the saint, the most famous legend tells that Cataldo broke the fall of a hugely dangerous boulder, that threatened to fall on Esanatoglia, with his bare hands. That particular stone could still be seen along the road that leads to the hermitage with the fingerprints that the local population attributes to S. Cataldo. However, we haven’t found it… you may luckier than we have been!
The hermitage consists of a very modern tower, a small church with a small bell tower and some rooms. In 1324 there was already a place of worship here, but what we now see dates from the 18th century. With another restoration after the 1997 earthquake that lasted until 2005.
During the 1960s, a column with a cross was built in memory of Antonio Giordani, from Esanatoglia, who was one of the many priests active at the front in WWI.
Behind the church, after a few rocky steps to the right, you can follow a path for different walks: to the summit of Monte Corsegno (a trip of 8 km and a height difference of 500 m) or to two sources that of the Olm and those of the Valley.
We enjoyed the beautiful view and the overwhelming silence.
Yes the monks knew where to live !!!