The existence of the Sanctuary of Loreto has been documented since 1294, its peculiarity concerns the object of devotion of the faithful, the Holy House of Nazareth, the place of the Annunciation. The house of Mary was formed in a cave, still venerated in the Basilica of the Annunciation, and a manufactured stone leaning against it. According to tradition, in 1291, when the Crusaders lost permanently the Palestine, with the fall of Akko, the House of the Virgin Mary was carried, "under angelic ministry", firstly in Illyria and then in the territory of Loreto. Today, according to new documented information, with the available results of the archaeological excavations in the basement of the Holy House (1962-65) and philological and iconographic studies, is increasingly confirming the hypothesis that the Holy House was transported to Loreto by ship.
The first news about the Path of Pilgrimage linked to Loreto shrine dates from the early fourteenth century: it is the link between Recanati and the sea in Roman era, this is the first unit of Via Lauretana. In the following decades, the increasing flow of pilgrims is channeled along a major road directions of the Papal States, the one that comes from Rome along the ancient Via Flaminia to Foligno, then crossing the Apennines at the pitch of Colfiorito, getting Ancona through the valleys of the Chienti and Potenza rivers. This route was renamed Via Lauretana, linking the holy cities of Rome and Loreto. The route of the Via Lauretana is defining progressively, with the definitive identification in the eighteenth century.
Along this guideline were increasing signs of Marian devotion and the creation of the transport infrastructure and accommodation necessary for the pilgrimage, especially since the sixteenth century. At that time were borning confraternities dedicated to the service of the pilgrims, and "hospitales" in the cities and in the most inaccessible tracks of the route Loretana (Apennine passes, river crossings, swamps ...).
Via Mariano Pallottini