This site is about an hour and a half from where we picked up the bus so our tour guide gave us a lot of information about the Abbey and the Cassino area. One tip that he mentioned was to make sure you pronounce both "s"es in the word Cassino. The word casino with one "s" means "brothel" so if you told locals that you went to casino then they might look at you a little strangely! We drove up the steep mountain towards the abbey which is situated on the highest point in the area. High in the clouds, our twisting, turning road was reminiscent of our time in Capri and Amalfi.
Fragments of tiles and walls were available for us to see, but for the most part everything was destroyed in 1944 and later rebuilt. We were able to go to an underground area that is not open to the public. Here we saw the original walls that were not destroyed. We learned about one of St. Benedict's miracles while we were underground. Basically when he fell onto a large rock it softened and absorbed his fall. The imprint of his arm was left in the stone and it is known as the Miracle Stone.
|Dad testing out the miracle stone.|
The lower level of the Bramante cloister holds an octagonal well supported by columns. The balcony offers a beautiful view of Liri Valley. The garden displays a statue of St. Benedict surrounded by monks.
|Lower level of the Bramante Cloister.|
|View over Liri Valley|
The abbey houses many mosaics and stained glass. The mosaic on the left was untouched during the bombings, as was the statue in the middle which was made in 1736.