Loreto is a commune of the Italian province of Ancona, in the Marche. It is now a small town of only 12,000 inhabitants but it was a very important town in the past and a very popular Catholic pilgrimage site. Pilgrims from all over the world come to Loreto to visit the famous Basilica della Santa Casa. The first official pilgrims arrived in Loreto in 1319, during the pontificate of Giovanni XXII. Currently, Loreto receives over four million pilgrims every year.