The Cittadella di Padre Pio stands in the hills overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the small Calabrian municipality of Drapia (Vibo Valentia), in Contrada Vento. Set in an enviable position, on a real natural terrace halfway up a hill, it faces the Gulf of Tropea and Stromboli and is sheltered by Mount Poro, in a blend of land and sky in the typically mild Mediterranean climate.
But why right here?
The location was revealed to Irene by Padre Pio, whose eternal foresight had, for a specific reason, already envisaged the ideal birthplace for the Cittadella and he showed it to her for the first time in an apparition:
«My child, you must build a sanctuary in Calabria, a children’s hospital, a research centre and a home for the suffering. Because there are children who will be born with tumours in their lungs, in their blood and elsewhere, and they must be cured with natural medicines, with the herbs that grow there and with the water that flows there»
At first, Irene didn’t recognise that wild, unfamiliar place and felt overwhelmed by what seemed like a hopeless search. However, Divine Providence put Irene on the right track and in just a few months led her to Drapia, a municipality in the hinterland of the province of Vibo Valentia. Here, she discovered a land with exceptional flora and a region that needed a future: the ideal place for such a major project of life and hope.