Project Description


In the V century young Benedict spent three years as a hermit here. Traces can still be found in the Monastery of St. Benedict called “Sacro Speco”.

  • Abbazia di Santa Scolastica Subiaco
  • Chiostro di Subiaco
  • Subiaco
  • San Francesco Subiaco
  • Biblioteca di Subiaco

The name Subiaco comes from the latin expression “sub-laqueum” i.e. under the lakes: three lakes were artificially created by emperor Nero under the Simbruini mountains to enrich the landscape enjoyed from his magnificent suburban villa and purify the water. Later,  the lakes and the villa disappeared (only few ruins are visible), but the area is still famous because a young man called Benedict moved there in the V century to live in a grotto as a hermit. He spent 3 years in solitude and then founded  the first western religious order of monks, the Benedictines. Thirteen monasteries were built in the area and two are still intact and accessible to visitors. Romanesque cloisters, vivid frescoes, the amazing structures of the chapels and cells inserted or dug in the bare rock, wild nature and woods all around you… this is what you have to expect. And the “sacro speco”, the proper cave where Benedict lived, is still there with all its spiritual impact.

The nearby convent of Santa Scolastica, Benedict’s sister, is equally evocative. Moreover it preserves an important library with more than 300  ancient manuscripts and one copy of the very first book printed in Italy in 1465 (De Divinis Institutionibus by Lactantius). In fact two followers of Gutenberg moved here and installed in the monastery the first Italian print house.

Complete your day trip:


The area is known for its genuine food, including wild mushrooms, polenta, local dumplings, pork meat, trouts of the local rivers ending with salame del re and ciambelline al vino (local cakes and cookies, so simple and so yummy at the same time!). A good break for lunch between the visit of the two monasteries is recommended.

nature lovers

We are next to the Regional Park of Monti Simbruini, the largest park in Lazio region. It is surprising to be so close of Rome and surrounded by a mountain setting peaking up to 2000 mt. Streams and waterfalls, colourful tablelands, woods and even eagles flying over your head!



  • (up to 6 people) + admissions. Lunch not included


Sabine Mountains Map