Piandarca wayside shrine
One of the most famous episodes in the life of St. Francis took place on an unspoiled plain: his famous sermon to the birds. This happened at Piandarca, a place of remarkable scenic beauty and absolute silence in the municipality of Cannara.
A destination of great significance
According to tradition, as ascertained by Franciscan historiography, in this wonderful landscape, there is a small path that St. Francis walked in the direction of Bevagna, after preaching in Cannara. And here, crossing the lane, he noticed an extraordinary multitude of birds to which he addressed his Sermon. This is one of the most famous episodes in the Saint's life, known throughout the world and a source of inspiration for Giotto (Upper Basilica, Assisi), Benozzo Gozzoli (Montefalco, San Francesco) and other painters.
Halfway along the route, on the left bank of the Formella stream, various documents and testimonies from the early twentieth century attest to the presence of a stone, identifying it as the place where the Saint placed his feet to preach to the birds.
The stone mentioned in these documents no longer exists today. Oral testimonies claim to have seen it stolen, one summer day in the mid-1950s, by a small group of friars, or people dressed in Franciscan habit, who allegedly removed the stone from the ground to load it onto an old truck. In 2004, on the initiative of the Pro Loco, another stone was placed, carved by Professor Sestilio Burattini of the Perugia Academy of Fine Arts and Jelena Panjkovic, his student. In any case, although lacking the original stone, the place continues to be a destination of great significance for the faithful and pilgrims.