The Abbey of Sassovivo
Built by the Benedictines around the year 1000 on solid rock, the abbey is in an isolated position immersed in an uncontaminated environment. The Sassovivo water spring, known for its therapeutic qualities, takes its name from the place where the abbey stands 565 metres above sea level.
A footpath near the abbey, known as the abbot's walk, runs through an ancient ilex wood that is one of the oldest and most beautiful in the entire region.
In 1138 the territory under the abbey's juristiction included 34 churches and 5 chapels, covering a vast area that ran from Rome to Perugia and from Spoleto to Camerino. A century later the abbey's lands were even larger: 97 monasteries, 41 churches and 7 hospitals.
The abbey's properties were severely reduced for the first time after the French Revolution, and never recovered fully even after the Restoration in 1814. Its remaining lands were confiscated in 1860 along with all Church properties, with the main building of the abbey itself divided between the local administration, the bishop's canteen and a family from Foligno. Restoration works have been carried out on the abbey in recent years. Since 1979 the bishop of Foligno has handed over the running of the building to the brothers of the Comunità Jesus Caritas.
The finest architectural feature of the entire abbey, the design of the cloister was commissioned by Abbot Angelo from Pietro de Maria. The exquisite elegance and balance of the work, completed in 1229, has survived the damage of time and man.
Built around a square plan, the roof of the cloister rests on arches that are supported by elegant double order columns, surmounted by lily-shaped capitols.
In 1314 Abbot Filippo ordered the building of the eastern wing, towards the church. In 1340 the large cistern in the middle of the cloister was built. It was restored in 1623 and completed with the well-head we see today.
The quality Villa Roncalli hotel and restaurant is close to the abbey, surrounded by a fine park. Tel. (+39) 0742.391.091
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