The Pit of the Blessed
Along the valley of the Tressa river, right below Monticchiello wooded hill, there is the “Buca del Beato”. The legend says that this deep and dark natural cavity hosted in 1400 the Blessed John Benincasa. He was a hermit who liked helping poor people and fighting against injustices. That is why he was chased both from the Church and from the nobles, who wanted to wield their power. To escape from persecutions Giovanni Benincasa decided to hide himself in the hidden natural cavity, but during the getaway he was wounded by an arrow and for many days he had been very close to death. The legend says that Benincasa prayed a lot during those days and finally God sympathized with him over his conditions and decided to heal him.
Benincasa stayed there for about 20 years far away from the civilized world. But he was not completely alone ... the Evil was lurking in the forest waiting for him! In effect popular tradition attributes to him the appearance of the so-called “Devil’s footprints”, belonging to a four-footed animal that are impressed on the rocks above the grotto. The story tells that the prints belong to Blessed John’s horse escaped from the Devil.
Until 50 years ago, many people used to go to visit this sacred place and ask for a miracle by praying and touching what it was supposed to be the bed of Giovanni Benincasa.