Posted by: debrakolkka | August 28, 2011

2 skeletons at San Pellegrino

Inside the little church in the village of  San Pellegrino nestled in the Garfagnana mountains near Bagni di Lucca, are the skeletal remains of a couple of ex residents. They are resting in a glass case on display for all to see.

the case containing the bodies

well dressed skeletons

resting peacefully

nice shoes

The plaque beside the bodies says here rest the bones of Pellegrino and Bianco. It would appear that one is Saint Pellegrino and the other the  mysterious Bianco.

The snowy winter day I was there it was so cold in the church I didn’t hang around to find out any more information. I’ll have to go back in warmer weather to investigate further. I’m sure they will still be there.


  1. I’m never drinking that San Pellegrino water again. Always found it too expensive anyway. Now it turns out not to be good for you.

    • I didn’t seem to do these chaps much good.

  2. The water comes from a different San Pellegrino, in the Alps of northern Italy. I don’t know how many saints are preserved in that San Pellegrino, but this one is said to have thrown the devil clear across the valley so hard that his body made the hole in Monte Forato in the Alpi Apuane. To confuse us even more, the full name of this one in the Appennines of the Garfagnana is San Pellegrino in Alpe and no water is bottled here. Thanks for those photos, Debra. I’ve never had time to go into the church, because I’ve always spent so much time in the fascinating ethnographic museum next door, which is full of weird and wonderful furniture and tools of the past. Lunch at L’Alpino can be a long and enjoyable affair too. Of course I always want to stop in at Ruggero’s shop at the bottom of the village to buy some wild blueberry tea, parmesan, dried porcini and other goodies. If it’s the end of May I like to walk up behind the shop to see the deep blue sheets of wild gentians.

    • It sounds as though I need to go back there. It was snowing the day I was there and there was deep snow everywhere. There is even a tiny ski slope nearby.

  3. The case and the clothes were too important for just a couple of locals, unless they were members of the higher nobility or Church… so I was curious and made a little research to find out who they are. The first link that I found was this one:
    Where you can find very good information about the Church and it also gives us an important clue: they were both saints.
    The problem was to try to identify them. There are several Saint Peregrinus in the Catholic Church, but I think this one is ours:

    Saint Bianco was more of a problem as there was no English text; however, I found this extensive information about himself and Saint Peregrinus in Italian:
    So it makes sense, they were both pilgrims and hermits and Saint Bianco was a disciple and companion hermit.
    I should add that both saints are not recognized as such by the Catholic Church; however, they are still venerated because of the tradition.

    • Thanks for that. I couldn’t find much on them at all. I knew that Pellegrino was a saint, but not Bianco.

  4. They are well dressed, but look a bit scary. Do you know how old they are?

    • Take a look at the links on the comment by Mulino Dominillo above. She is always has great information.

  5. Interesting . . . but a little creepy too! 🙂

    • They looked quite serene lying there.

  6. It’s not the same San Pellegrino as the water…

  7. This San Pellegrino is near Bagni di Lucca the water San Pellegrino is in the Alpes….by the way the 2 skelettoons are supposed to be San Pellergino and San Bianco (2 Saints and not just two inhabitants of the village).

    • Thanks for the information. I wasn’t able to find out much about the 2 skeletons, as I said it was freezing the day I was there and there was nobody around.

  8. I think you did very well Deb under the circumstances, but what a great of information we have now received. What a great post educationally – well done girlfriend.

  9. I meant to say – what a great deal of information we have received following the most interesting post.

  10. Ewwwwh…. Never drinking again. Lol. Why is it all the great things under go such disgusting beginnings?

  11. Sorry, but this made me laugh out loud–the part about their still being there. Great post, Deb!

    • Yes, I don’t think they are going anywhere.

  12. I was first traumatized by them at age eleven and have never felt a need to return to view them but the area is lovely and the museum is terrific.

    • At 58 I was not traumatised at all. I need to go back to look at the museum.

  13. Hmmm…that is bizarre. Fascinating and intriguing, but quite odd. Thanks for taking the photos for us Deb, or we’d never have known about this.. 🙂

    • I will go back in better weather as the town is very cute and now I need to see the museum talked about in the comments.

  14. I would love to know the story/stories about Pellegrino and Bianco! Who were they? Keep us posted Deb 🙂 xo

    • They were saints. If you look in the comments you will see a link on Mulino Dominillo’s comment for some details on them. I will try to get back ther in my next trip.

  15. Found this page with your pictures only after having been made curious while reading from: Green, Alice Stopford. History of The Irish State to 1014. London: MacMillan and Co., Ltd. St. Martin’s Street, 1925. Page 184. (Text may be downloaded in pdf format from

    “The little-known hamlet of San Pellegrino on a narrow spur of the Apennines is dedicated to the memory of an unknown pilgrim, “son of a Scot king” (known there as a “Scotchman”), who returning from the Holy Land with his servant made his home in this solitary spot, where from his ” seat ” of meditation at the extremity of the spur he looked across prodigious steeps and precipices to the Carrara mountains. The two figures lie together to
    this day in a glass shrine, in mediaeval garments renewed from time to time, when the country people gather at the yearly festival of the Irish saints.”

    Thought it might be of interest….

    • Thank you for the information. That’s great!

  16. […] is a wonderful olld church there with 2 pilgrims in an elaborate glass case. Click here to see an earlier post about […]

  17. […] San Pellegrino: […]

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