Italy: The Pious Come Marching In

In 1295, according to legend, the house of the Virgin Mary landed in what is now the Italian town of Loreto after a miraculous flight from Nazareth. That association with air travel has been enough to make the town of 9,500 a profitable center of jet-age piety. Last week at least 50,000 pilgrims crammed in to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a papal proclamation designating the Madonna of Loreto as protector of aviators; they overflowed the 20 hotels and dozen boarding houses that have gone up in Loreto in recent years. Prosperity...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!