When Sam was almost a year old and we were living in Naples, Italy, we spent our 4th of July at Montecassino Abbey. Located 66 miles north of Naples and 88 miles south of Rome, it’s an easy trip from either location.
St. Benedict established a monastery, the source of the Benedictine order, on a hilltop about a mile west of the town of Cassino, Italy. It’s strategic location has caused it be destroyed and rebuilt a number, most recently after WWII. During the war, it made up part of the German defensive line to keep the Allies from advancing further into Italy. It was rebuilt after the war. Luckily many of the documents and collections of the Abbey were transferred to the Vatican for safekeeping before the Battle of Montecassino.
There are stunning views from the Abbey.
There are numerous war cemeteries located near the Abbey. This is a view of one of them. One of them is the Polish War Cemetery that has the graves of 1,000 Polish soldiers who died fighting in the Battle of Montecassino.
The Abbey has a wonderful museum full of historic religious items and art.
This is a Prescepe, or nativity scene. The Prescepe is a true Italian tradition. Naples, Italy in particular has a strong tradition of displaying and making the pieces for the scenes.
It was 4th of July so Sam was showing his spirit in his patriotic outfit in the museum. Remember when you used to dress them up for holidays?
Montecassino Cathedral was as stunning as the views from the Abbey. Rebuilt after WWII it incorporates some surviving elements and is based on its 17th and 18th century design.
We went to lunch in Cassino after exploring the Abbey. I cannot remember the name of the restaurant, but it had a great view and was the perfect end to our day at a beautiful and historic place.