In the background, stands the Montalbo massif, bare and imperious, with a rugged hill right behind it. An austere and evocative setting accommodates a symbolic place of spirituality, where worshippers from all over Sardinia go on pilgrimages on the occasion of a double festival with legendary roots. It is the sanctuary of San Francesco, just over three kilometres from Lula: twice a year, on 1 May and 4 October, an act of devotion takes place here and it is one of the most typical and heartfelt of the Island, as described by Grazia Deledda in her novel ‘Elias Portolu’.
The origin of the celebration goes back in time to a news story, namely the unjust murder charge brought against a bandit from the village of Lula, who went into hiding to escape conviction and was forced to hide in a cave in the surrounding hills. Once his innocence had finally been demonstrated, the bandit built a small church as a token of thanks. The current building, however, is the reconstruction, dated 1795, of a pre-existing building, probably dating back to the 16th century. Inside the hall, there is a seventeenth-century wooden statue of St. Francis, a work by the Neapolitan school.