Monte Redentore in the Aurunci Mountains
From Maranola there is a track leading up into the Aurunci Mountains to Monte Redentore, which is suitable for vehicles up to a certain point, however the last section has to be taken on foot to reach the summit.
At the peak of Monte Redentore, at a height of 1252 metres above sea level, stands on an obelisk is the cast iron statue of Christ the Redeemer. The figure measures three metres in height and weighed 2,100 kg. It was to be erected in 1901 to mark the beginning of a new century. The statue had to be laboriously hauled up the mountainside by teams of oxen. In all it took forty days for the statue to eventually reach the top of the summit on 12th July 1901. The statue was finally erected on the 29th July 1901. However, in 1907 it was badly damaged by a lightning strike and thus had to be restored.
Nearby are the highest peaks of the Aurunci Mountain range, Monte Sant’Angelo at 1402 metres and Monte Petrella at 1535 metres.
Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo
San Michele Arcangelo is the main patron of the town of Maranola. On the slopes of Monte Altino there is the hermitage of San Michele Arcangelo, which was set into a cave. The present sanctuary was built during the nineteenth century in a Neo-Gothic style on the remains of an ancient Benedictine monastery. It was cut into the natural stone. The doorway is in a Gothic style and above it is a rose window, which together with two large and two smaller arched windows allow light to enter the interior of the building. One the facade there is a niche to hold the statue of the Saint.
Each year on the last Sunday in June there is a solemn pilgrimage from the centre of the town, where the statue of San Michele is carried up to this sanctuary. Mass is then celebrated, after which the local shepherds offer the pilgrims fresh cheese made from goat’s milk. The statue of San Michele remains here during the summer months to guard the mountains. Finally on the 29th September there is another procession to return the statue to back to the Church of the Annunziata in Maranola.