Santuario del Sacro Speco - Monastero di San Benedetto

Santuario del Sacro Speco - Monastero di San Benedetto

Santuario del Sacro Speco - Monastero di San Benedetto
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Points of Interest & LandmarksReligious SitesChurches & Cathedrals
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,177 reviews
Excellent
1,049
Very good
120
Average
6
Poor
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0

MarcoItaly
Conegliano, Italy148 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
Even if it was Pasquetta day they let us enter. Being Italian holiday too much people was climbing the road. Covid was ending, but the guides made great efforts to take us all in also aftr 18,00
Written 23 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wanderer630
DeKalb, IL157 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Couples
We took a Cotral bus from Rome (Metro stop Ponte Mammalo) to Subiaco first thing in the morning (about 8:30am). Bring your water bottle, kleenex for toilet paper, some cash, and layers - it's cooler in Subiaco than in Rome. And cover your knees and shoulders, since it's a holy site.

We bought our tickets, cappuccini, and pastries from the same window! Buy your return ticket then, too. The buses are up above - ask at the window if you're not sure. It was a beautiful ride and less than an hour. You get off at the last stop, in the middle of Subiaco. There are signs that say "Monasteri Benedettini" along the way, although we missed the first one at the bus station and just walked through town, which was very neat. There are signs through town, too, and everyone will know what you're talking about if you stop and ask which way you should go.

There isn't really food at the top - just a few vending machines, and they're locked up from 12:30 - 3pm for siesta. We bought picnic food at a tiny, friendly grocery store (photo below): bread, cheese, yogurt, and apples, to eat for lunch. They also sell prosciutto, olives, carrots, and other good stuff. We had a blast trying to communicate with the guy at the deli counter, who helped us choose really good stuff and made us laugh in the process. They're at Via Papa Braschi, 4, just past the center of town. There's another place called "Pantini Fruit" in Subiaco, but it's not along the main route... not

It was quite a hike up. My husband and I are in our 30s, and had to stop now and then to catch our breath (lots of stairs!). But it was fine, especially on a cool fall day. The first stop is St. Scholastica Monastery, which is older than St. Benedetto (although they're now a single monastery). There are bathrooms (no toilet paper), a gift shop, and you can ask for a tour, but only if you can leave a cash donation. There's a basket at the end. It's a brief look at the three cloisters, two ancient wells, and the main chapel. St. S. is also the site of the first Italian printing press. Stop to fill your water bottle and keep going up. It took us about 45 minutes to hike this far.

There's a guesthouse here - La Foresteria. It looked quite nice.

Watch for the signs or blazes on trees and rocks. You can keep climbing stairs, or just walk the paved road up. There are beautiful views looking down, either way. If you want to climb the "Sacred Stairs" up to the monastery, stick to the paved road (you can't climb them back down). It took us about 30 minutes to hike up the rest of the way.

At the top is a courtyard with bathrooms, shop with vending machines, as well as a water source. The monastery and shop are closed from 12:30 to 3, but the bathrooms and water spigot are available. We had about 20 minutes to look at the frescoes before they closed, and we had our picnic and sat in the sunshine, reading, talking, napping, until 3. There's a wonderful, deep silence up there... although one side of the courtyard is more of a wind tunnel than the other - you can walk around and figure out what seems most comfortable.

Then we went back into the monastery to look at those amazing frescoes once more. They ask that you don't take photos, but know that they are in the spirit of Giotto, with amazing faces and detail. Some gory stuff, too.

Don't miss the fresco of St. Francis, up a spiral staircase, painting during his lifetime. It's protected behind glass, so you can't miss it.

We headed back down the mountain at around 4pm, and it probably took us just under and hour to get back to the bus station. It wasn't long before a bus back to Ponte Mammalo was ready to take us back. It was a long day of walking, but we loved the sense of pilgrimage and adventure!
Written 21 November 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dan L
Christchurch, New Zealand12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013 • Family
My 11 year old son and I made a special pilgrimage into the mountains where St Benedict meditated for 3 years.
The monastery itself is very beautiful and peaceful. We were able to sit and pray in the grotto where St Benedict lived during his time there. The Sacro Speco isn't huge. There is a church at the top and a few small chapels below. Beautiful frescoes line much of the interior.
More information can be found at their website: http://www.benedettini-subiaco.it/monastery_stbenedict.asp?rid=22.
There is a souvenir shop up there and a few drink vending machines.
Getting there from Rome was a bit of a challenge. Maybe this might be helpful to those who would like to make a trip from Rome.
We took the metro to Ponte Mammolo station to catch the COTRAL bus to Subiaco. The bus station is right at the metro station. We bought our return bus tickets from the cafe, went up to the next floor to catch the bus. The bus took us to Subiaco but I don't think there is a bus that will go all the way up to St Benedict's Monastery. We did see a bus at St Scholastica's monastery though but St Benedict's is further up the mountain. I don't know the route of that bus so not much help there.
We asked a local and was told that we could walk up. Just follow the signs. It's quite well sign posted BUT it's a long hike up, especially in mid summer heat! There are paths that took us on a straighter path up there instead of winding up on the road. That also means that it is a steeper climb. The distance from Subiaco town itself is about 4-5 km of mostly on an incline. It took us just over 1 1/2 hours to get to St Benedict's with a short rest at St Scholastica.
Coming down was a breeze though. :-)
So yes, it's possible to walk up from Subiaco but expect quite a long walk uphill.
Written 12 August 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mercurio-online
Rome, Italy41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Family
Today I've been in Subiaco with my family (my wife and 2 kids: 8 and 10 y.o.). We are from Rome and we couldn't image there is a so amazing place so close to Rome (around 1 hour driving) and not so advertised. Visiting this magic place we all have had a wonderful and peaceful feeling and it seems to be living in the Middle Ages.
You MUST see it and you will never regret: I swear.
Written 12 May 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Margaret B
Greenbelt, MD712 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Friends
This monastery was built up around the Sacro Speco, the cave where St. Benedict prayed for 3 years. It's amazing to see how it was built on the sheer cliff. The frescoes are beautiful, as are the views. Our bus took us almost to the entrance, which was nice because it's a steep climb. Worth a visit!
Written 20 June 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SydneyPaul
Sydney, Australia219 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2013 • Solo
I caught an early bus from Rome for Subiaco and arrived around 09.00. Perfect walking conditions - cold but not freezing, and hardly anyone around. I followed the signs for the Benedictine Monasteries - St Scholastica at the bottom of the climb and St Benedict at the top - and headed off. The scenery is stunning. I found the old pilgrim walkway that does make for quicker travel and is much safer than walking along the road (no footpaths and lots of hair-pin bends and Italian drivers don't like slowing down unless they have to!). I called in at St Scholastica's - closed - and kept going up. I reached St Benedict's after a good 90 minute walk - not rushing (too much to see). The monastery is owned and maintained by the Italian state so the place is in good condition. You can't or aren't supposed to take photos inside, but I sneaked a couple of the cave - I hadn't come all the way from Australia to miss out! After walking through the upper and lower church and taking in the enormous amount of Sienese and Roman school frescoes, seeing an amazingly early picture of St Francis painted before his death (no stigmata or halo) I went in to the cave. I sat there and let the silence envelope me. Not even the voices of over-excited pilgrims in other parts of the church disrupted me. I really felt the presence of goodness - as I believer I happily call this God. Benedict is there too. I am glad that I went - it is a beautiful oasis of peace. If you can, walk up and then walk down. You won't regret it.
Written 8 December 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tmacquiban
Rome, Italy152 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019 • Friends
The journey up to the abbey complex was well worth the haul up a cool shaded path to enter the sacred space, hallowed to the memory of Benedict when he sought solitude in his cave. The 14th and 15th century frescoes in the church and chapels carved out of the hillside commemorating the saint and his many followers and admirers are a must for all art and architectural historians and cultural vultures. And amazingly no groups or coaches up there so a quiet reverential atmosphere not found in Rome and elsewhere. Only one monk in evidence as one of the community had died two days earlier so the bookshop and Santa Scholastica were both closed. Must return another day!!
Written 24 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alessandro A
Rome, Italy234 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Couples
Absolutely to be visited. Should you being in Rome even for a short vacation find a day to visit it. Unbelievable view and wall painting wait you for a visit. Best way by car on the motorway or by bus. When there start the visit at "Sacro Speco' highest place then descend the hill to visit Santa Scolastica monastery. Sacro Speco was the first stay of San Benedict he spent in the cave three years in isolation and pray. Later on with the followers founded other 13 monasteries around the place. Wall painting are incredible for character and intensity. You can also admire the unique paint of San Francisco from Assisi de visu. Painted in occasion of his visit here. You can see without stimmate (a that time not yet received) and without the areola (not saint).
Written 2 May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Czar Emmanuel
Manila, Philippines10,062 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Friends
This is where Saint Benedict lived for three years as a hermit in a small cave before he founded monasteries. People visit this place to visit his cave (called the "sacro speco") as well as the monastery itself. It has some mosaics and frescoes dating back to 13th century, an "Old Chapter Room", an "upper" and a "lower" church, a chapel carved out of a cave, a monastery, a rose garden, etc. You'll also find here the oldest picture of St. Francis painted when the Saint was still alive.

A visit to this place is both interesting and edifying. It gives you a glimpse into the beginning of monasticism in Europe, the simplicity of hermit lifestyle, etc. It is one place pilgrims should visit at least once in their lifetime. Highly recommended!
Written 5 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Owen S
264 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Friends
A beautiful little journey about an hour outside of Rome. Great for a day trip. The monastery itself can be seen in about forty minutes. The fresco of saint Frances of Assisi from 1224 is worth it on its own. Entry b donation. Combine the visit with a meal at the Belvedere makes for a special little outing.
Written 26 October 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Santuario del Sacro Speco - Monastero di San Benedetto, Subiaco - Tripadvisor

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