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The Monastery of San Benedetto è one of the most significant spiritual places for the Church. Built almost a thousand years ago, it has the task of guarding the cave where the young Benedict of Norcia spent a period of hermitic life, before dedicating himself to the cenobitic life.
Just outside Subiaco, in the cave where St. Benedict took refuge as a hermit dictating the Rule of Ora et Labora, stands the Monastery of St. Benedict of Subiaco.
The monastery, together with that of St. Scholastica, St. Benedict’s sister, is one of the twelve monasteries founded by St. Benedict along the Aniene valley that was not destroyed. It is composed of two overlapping churches, chapels and caves that follow the wave-like shape of the rocky wall.
The heart of the structure is the Sacro Speco, the natural cavity where Saint Benedict lived for three years as a hermit and which can be reached by a staircase that passes through the suggestive Sacred Wood.
Not too far from there you can visit the cave of the shepherds, where St. Benedict began to preach and the Chapel of St. Gregory which houses the fresco of St. Francis of Assisi: it seems to have been made 3 years before his death, during his stay in 1223-1224.
You can admire the grandeur of the monastery from the outside, but it is the interior that will leave you speechless.
Reach the small churches and chapels that follow one another in an irregular way to admire works and frescoes.
From the entrance of the monastery you reach the Upper Church, a wonder completely covered with frescoes of the Sienese school and the Umbrian school where the life of Jesus and that of St. Benedict are depicted.
A staircase will lead you to the Lower Church where you will find the Holy Cave. Outside the building, you can visit the small cemetery of the Speco monks and the Rose Garden of St. Benedict.
The monastery is one of the stages of the Way of St. Benedict that goes from Norcia to Cassino.