AUDITORIUM INFIRMARY OF THE CONVERTS BOROUGH OF FOSSANOVA - PRIVERNO (LT)
The Italian Gothic rightfully belongs to a western historical period which is the cultural expression of different artistic, social and intellectual traditions. A unitary vein which spreads the Gothic structures throughout the entire peninsula and is constituted by the Cistercian abbeys. Some places seem to be watching us, they let us dream with their mysticism and drag us back to those centuries we have not lived, tearing us away from reality and projecting us into a new dimension. This is Fossanova, one of the most beautiful and important Cistercian boroughs of Italy, an oasis of peace surrounded by centuries-old olive trees that have breathed history and culture since the Middle Ages, as well a fundamental stop on the Francigena street.
In the 6th century, St. Benedict imposed on his order the rule which was, for about two centuries, the most followed model of monastic life in Europe. The first Benedictine monasteries consisted of a group of buildings built around a church. Starting from the 7th-8th century, the monasteries became increasingly large and complex, they were fortified and equipped with spaces for living in common and for work, in order to make the religious communities self-sufficient. The abbot’s residence stood next to the church while from the cloister it was possible to access the refectory and the chapter hall. Part of the monastery was dedicated to agricultural work and provided with equipment deposits, barns and stables. There was no shortage of rooms for crafting activities and medical assistance, with herbal medicine and hospitalizations for the sick: the former infirmary of the borough of Fossanova, which hosts the celebration of the best extra virgin olive oils of the ITALY IOOA International Awards, was indeed one of these venues. The former infirmary of the converts is a unique place detached from the abbey. It was isolated for the need to prevent the spread of contagious diseases that were very frequent in the Middle Ages. The architecture is similar to that of the refectory and the abbey itself with pointed arches and exposed wooden ceilings, but it is much brighter thanks to the presence of a double row of large pointed arch windows with deep splays. An impressive and fascinating building that fully reflects the Italian Cistercian Gothic.
In 1874 Fossanova was declared a National Monument. The borough has been linked to the landscape heritage since 1959 and to the architectural one since 1977. Its historical importance is closely tied to religious and philosophical reasons for having hosted the first tomb of the theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas in 1284, later transferred to Toulouse. Today the borough, which is also home to the Medieval Museum, thrives on cultural events that recall its history and agri-food events that enhance the traditions of good local and national food.
HOW TO GET HERE
BY TRAIN: YOU CAN REACH THE ABBEY OF FOSSANOVA COMFORTABLY BY TRAIN. IN FACT, THERE ARE TRAINS EVERYHOUR FROM THE STATIONS OF ROME AND NAPLES TO THE PRIVERNO-FOSSANOVA STATION.IN COINCIDENCE WITH THE ARRIVAL OF THE TRAINS, AN URBAN CONNECTION SERVICE WITH THEBOROUGH OF FOSSANOVA AND PRIVERNO IS GUARANTEED. BY CAR: FROM THE AUTOSTRADA DEL SOLE (A1) FOR THOSE COMING FROM ROME OR NAPLES, EXIT AT THEFROSINONE TOOLBOTH AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTION TO LATINA UNTIL THE CROSSROADS FOR PRIVERNO(KM 29,300) AND FROM HERE TO THE BOROUGH.FROM VIA APPIA TAKE THE PRIVERNO CROSSROADS AT KM 85 (MIGLIARA 53) AND CONTINUE ON THE SPMARITTIMA II UNTIL THE BOROUGH OF FOSSANOVA.