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Abstract

The strong affluence of pilgrims in monasteries and sanctuaries since the Middle Era, determined a veritable culture of hospitality, which was manifested by the building of new spaces dedicated to guest quarters. This research investigates in detail some meaningful examples amongst the main Italian sanctuaries - namely: Vicoforte and Oropa (Piedmont), Tirano (Lombardy) and Loreto (Marche) - looking at the solutions adopted to host the wayfarers: the hospitality spaces which characterised architecture dedicated to pilgrims between the Middle and the Early Modern Ages. Throughout this period of time, the continuous increase in pilgrimages implied new definitions of the space within the sacred enclosures, with the building of new shelters for the pilgrims, in addition to taverns and shops. The cases presented make it possible to analyse the arrangement of the areas dedicated to the travellers in their architectural components, which were either designed from scratch or were an adaptation of the space to the pilgrim’s needs.

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