From time to time we love to go on tour ourselves to explore the beautiful Roman surroundings. This time our Rome is Easy tour guides, Nicole and Giulia, have decided to explore the Monastery of S. Benedict in Subiaco.
We left Rome by car on a Sunday. As soon as we left the highway, and started crossing the small villages of the Roman countryside, we were immediately stunned by a spectacular landscape, characterized by mountains and lush, green grass.
The village of Subiaco is the biggest center in the valley of the river Aniene, located inside a natural park and surrounded by the Simbruini Mountains. Due to its strategic position, this village was conquered by the Romans around 300 BC.
At the top of one of the mountains stands the Monastery of St. Benedict. From the very first moment we got there, we could immediately tell that this was a sacred place, a silent and mystic universe where time has stopped.
At the entrance of the Monastery we stopped to listen to Nicole and Giulia, who told us about St. Benedict’s life. It was surprising and moving at once learning that the Saint decided to retire from the world at the age of 14 to live three years in a cave. The grotto, called Sacro Speco, became his whole world, from which he started developing the organization of the Benedictine Order.
Therefore, the Sacro Speco became the center around which the whole monastery was constructed. Adorned by impressive paintings belonging to different schools, this building is a masterpiece of artwork, from the upper church, to the main altar, which is decorated with precious marble and mosaics, to the Holy Cave, the very heart of the monastery and the beginning of the benedictine monasticism.
Everybody who has been on tour with us knows that we are real foodies. This amazing day trip from Rome couldn’t have been as amazing as it was without a proper meal. Food is an important part of our culture and we definetly couldn’t have left without tasting some local specialties and delicacies.
Not far from the main road that lead to the monastery, we reserved a table in a local trattoria. The space was warm and cozy with an impressive wine list. Food was really good, especially the appetizers, that comprised a selection of cured meats, cheeses, olives, codfish and polenta.
We rather not to spoil all the details about the monastery and the surrounding area. Part of the fan is discovering it yourself, and we assure you that this day trip from Rome is a pathway full of surprises and secrets to unveil.