"San Pietro in Valle ? not from this world" Top 5 Page for this destination Italy Things to Do Tip by Trekki
Italy Things to Do: 1,470 reviews and 2,257 photos
Abbazia San Pietro in Valle was on my wishlist ever since I saw a photo on Google Earth. And when I finally arrived there and I was so much amazed that I even wasn?t even disappointed that I couldn?t get into the church, because it was closed for restauration. This whole place has such a spiritual atmosphere which makes it easy to understand why it was choosen for a place of worship by Syrian hermits Lazzaro and Giovanni very long time ago. Then, in 8th century, Duke Faraldo II from Spoleto, who was dethroned by his son, had a dream where San Pietro told him to build an abbey in his honour. He also found this little place in Valneria to be the perfect spot and what we can visit today, Abbazia San Pietro in Valle, was built on the remains of the little hermitage. Faraldo II took monastic vows and lived here until his death in 728. The abbey was set up according to benedictine rules. Interesting that Faraldo?s son finally also ended up here as a monk and the church became burial place for Spoleto?s Langobard dukes. In 9th century, the abbey was ransacked by Saracens and rebuilt later by Otto III and Henry II. But during the course of time it lost its importance and influence and was pretty much deteriorated until the first restaurations started early 20th century. These are still ongoing in case of the church, and while I was staying in the hotel, I could not visit the church due to restoration of the frescoes. However, the hotel management told me that there is an old lady who would come with the keys on Sundays to open it for visitors. But as it was raining it might have well be that the old lady simply left her house (2 km away) a bit later. She does not have a car and walks up to the abbey. Which is, by the way, very much typical to the spirit of Umbria ? life simply does not race here, but is slow and sedating. And this is not meant in a negative sense!
Anyhow: if you plan to visit the church, better do so during ?season? ? April might be too early. The photos I saw if the interior (see website below) are most magic, even if they show how the church is set up for a wedding. The frescoes are said to some of the most magnificent example of Romanesque Umbrian wall paintings.
But also the outside of church and abbey are most beautiful. Even if you don?t stay in the hotel, the staff will let you have a look inside of their premises so that you can visit the cloister and all its wonderful details. At the entrance to the church for example you?ll see two reliefs of apostles St. Peter and St. Paul (photo 4), most probably of 11th century.
I wrote about this enchanting place on a separate page already:
San Pietro in Valle.
Location of San Pietro in Valle on Google Maps.
nearest airport: Roma (Fiumicino, FCO or Ciampino, CIA) or Perugia (PEG).
© Ingrid D., May 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
Address: San Pietro in Valle, Umbria
Directions: Valneria, SS209. This is the street parallel to the highway from Assisi to Terni (exit Spoleto). It's 3 km north of Ferentillo. Be careful, the sign leading uphill is small.
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