The Abbey of Farfa is one of the most requested places for guided tours in the province of Rieti and one of the most important religious monuments of the whole Lazio. This abbey was a monastery of the Congregation of Cassino and takes its name from the river of the same name that flows nearby.
The Abbey of Farfa is considered today one of the fundamental places in the history of European monasticism. Its origins can be traced back to a period that can be placed between 560 and 570 AC and the work to complete the construction process lasted until 913. However, its fame is dated back at Christmas Eve in the 800 when Charlemagne had a visit here. His visit lead to significant structural changes of the building.
History of the Abbey of Farfa
The Abbey of Farfa maintained a strategic importance for the whole of the high Middle Ages due to its particularly favorable position. It also became a prestigious cultural center thanks to its magnificent library.
Immediately after the end of the Carolingian empire the abbey entered a period of crisis that lasted until the end of the Middle Ages: in the Renaissance period in perfect tendency with the predominant thought in those years the Abbey of Farfa experienced a rebirth. However, the decision to become autonomous from the Papacy put it among the sights of the wealthy Roman families of the time, a factor that caused a second decline of the abbey in its history also seasoned by looting and destruction by the Saracens.
We must wait until the twentieth century, to be precise in the year 1920, to see the Abbey of Farfa again in vogue thanks to the precious intervention of a group of monks: in 1928 the abbey was declared a national monument.
Visit the Abbey of Farfa
Today the visit to the Abbey of Farfa is something very sought after also due to its proximity to Rome. The building appears totally recovered and perfectly set in its suggestive medieval village. A tour of the Abbey of Farfa includes a visit to the church of Santa Maria and its bell tower; an immersion in the many works of artistic importance that are present, such as the frescoes by Orazio Gentileschi or the grottesche degli Zuccari; a tour of the two cloisters there, the Longobardo and the Chiostro Grande.
In addition, the visit to the Abbey of Farfa can also be accompanied by a pleasant gastronomic interlude, since the territory of Rieti is known for its typical products and that even within the same abbey it is possible to book a lunch to totally immerse yourself in the monastic life of centuries ago.