Daphna Steelman

Daphna Steelman

Published: 19 Sep 2023

Source: Italia.it

Fossanova Abbey, located in the picturesque countryside of Lazio, Italy, is a hidden gem that never fails to amaze visitors with its rich history and breathtaking architecture. This medieval Cistercian monastery is not only a place of worship but also a symbol of artistic excellence and architectural innovation. While the abbey is well-known for its serene atmosphere and spiritual significance, there are several surprising facts that make it truly remarkable. From its hidden underground passages to its unique architectural features, Fossanova Abbey is a treasure trove of secrets waiting to be uncovered. In this article, we will delve into 12 surprising facts about Fossanova Abbey that will leave you in awe of its extraordinary beauty and fascinating past.

Table of Contents

Fascinating Architecture: A Masterpiece of Gothic Style

The Fossanova Abbey boasts a stunning example of Gothic architecture, characterized by its pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses. Standing tall since the 12th century, this remarkable structure continues to amaze visitors with its intricate details and impressive craftsmanship.

A Peaceful Haven Amidst Nature’s Serenity

Nestled amidst lush greenery and rolling hills, Fossanova Abbey is a tranquil oasis that offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Visitors can soak in the peaceful ambiance as they explore the abbey’s grounds, taking in the beauty of its surrounding landscape.

A Place of Spiritual Significance

Fossanova Abbey holds great religious significance as a former Cistercian monastery. It served as a center of worship and devotion, attracting pilgrims from far and wide seeking solace and spiritual enlightenment.

A Witness to Centuries of History

With its long-standing history, Fossanova Abbey has witnessed numerous historical events and transformations over the centuries. From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, the abbey has stood as a testament to the passage of time and the resilience of its inhabitants.

Magnificent Frescoes Adorning the Walls

Step inside the abbey’s walls and be captivated by its magnificent frescoes. These stunning artworks depict biblical scenes and saints, showcasing the creativity and devotion of the artists who adorned the abbey’s interior.

A Retreat for the Monastic Community

Throughout its history, Fossanova Abbey provided a retreat for monks seeking solitude and contemplation. The peaceful surroundings and quiet ambiance created an ideal environment for meditation and spiritual reflection.

Resting Place of the Famous Pope Celestine V

Fossanova Abbey is the final resting place of Pope Celestine V, who abdicated his papal throne in His tomb serves as a reminder of the abbey’s historical and religious significance.

Home to a Thriving Olive Grove

The abbey’s expansive grounds are adorned with a thriving olive grove, where visitors can take a leisurely stroll and appreciate the beauty of nature. The grove not only adds to the abbey’s charm but also produces high-quality olive oil.

A Popular Film Location

The picturesque setting of Fossanova Abbey has made it a sought-after location for filmmakers. Its timeless beauty has served as the backdrop for several movies, adding to its allure and allure and fame.

Awe-Inspiring Acoustics

The abbey’s impressive acoustics have attracted musicians from around the world to perform within its hallowed halls. The harmonious blend of architecture and sound creates a unique and captivating auditory experience.

An Abundance of Historical Artefacts

Within Fossanova Abbey, a treasure trove of historical artefacts awaits discovery. From ancient religious manuscripts to intricate artworks and relics, each item tells a story of the abbey’s rich past and cultural heritage.

A Pilgrimage Destination

For devout pilgrims, Fossanova Abbey holds deep spiritual significance. Many embark on a journey to this sacred site to seek solace, find inspiration, and connect with their faith on a profound level.


Fossanova Abbey is a remarkable landmark with a rich history and a unique charm that continues to captivate visitors. From its stunning architecture to its tranquil surroundings, there is much to discover and appreciate at this hidden gem in Italy. Whether you are interested in medieval history, religious sites, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Fossanova Abbey offers a truly immersive experience. Exploring its cloisters, admiring the Gothic details, and learning about its significance in the region are just a few of the highlights that await you. So, make sure to add Fossanova Abbey to your travel itinerary and be prepared to be amazed by this extraordinary landmark.


1. What is the history behind Fossanova Abbey?

The abbey was founded in 1135 by Cistercian monks and played a significant role in the Middle Ages as a flourishing religious and cultural center.

2. Can visitors explore the interior of Fossanova Abbey?

Yes, guided tours are available, allowing visitors to explore the abbey’s interior and gain insight into its architecture, artwork, and historical significance.

3. Are there any events or festivals held at Fossanova Abbey?

Yes, the abbey hosts various events throughout the year, including concerts, exhibitions, and religious ceremonies. Check the official website for the latest schedule.

4. Is there a dress code for visiting Fossanova Abbey?

As a religious site, it is advisable to dress modestly out of respect for the abbey’s spiritual significance. Avoid wearing sleeveless tops, shorts, and revealing clothing.