Lazio Day Trip: Fossanova Abbey

In the March print issue of Dream of Italy, Ann Cochran writes about exploring the coast of southern Lazio. While her travels mostly take her to the seaside resort towns, Cochran says that a nice break from the sun and sand lies a short drive inland at Fossanova Abbey. Movie buffs might recognize it. The Sean Connery flick The Name of the Rose was filmed here:
Built in the 12th century and restored over the years, some of the original walls of Abbazia di Fossanova are still standing. This church complex is considered one of the earliest examples, if not the first, of early Gothic architecture in Italy. Austere (unlike most Italian churches) and peaceful, it has beautiful rose windows and pointed arches, twisted columns and colonnades and a faded fresco of the Madonna and Child. The abbey’s light colored limestone sometimes looks gray and sometimes yellowed, depending on the light. St. Thomas Aquinas became ill while visiting the abbey in 1274 and died here. His remains were moved to France, but his room at Fossanova was turned into a chapel. Today, Fossanova Abbey (39-0773-939061) is an active Franciscan monastery and a parish church. The film, The Name of the Rose, starring Sean Connery, was shot here. Don’t miss the chocolate shop and café across from the main entrance.

Photo by Sacred Destinations,