Twenty five people from the Lombardy region of Italy arrived in Bangor on Monday 5 July to explore the heritage of Columbanus. The group, led by Mauro Steffenini, President of the Italian Friends of Columbanus, visited St Comgall’s Church, Strickland’s Glen / Smelt Mill Bay where Columbanus left with 12 disciples for Europe, and Bangor Abbey before walking along the Columbanus Bell walk to the Castle where they met the Mayor, Karen Douglas.
Alderman Deborah Girvan, Chairwoman of Friends of Columbanus Bangor, said,
“We were delighted to welcome our Italian visitors to Bangor and plan their itinerary. As the Columban Way, a major new pilgrim route that traces the footsteps of Columbanus from Ireland through eight European countries develops, more and more people from home and abroad are beginning to walk the route. I believe that The Columban Way, once it is completed, has the potential to attract thousands of tourists to Bangor city and the Borough to explore our rich Christian heritage”.