An Abbey lost in the fields: San Salvatore Maggiore
It’s funny how still Sabina can offer surprises where you don’t expect it…So it happened to me last week during an excursion to one of my favourite places, Vallecupola, that I bumped into a street sign indicating the way to San Salvatore Maggiore Abbey. I decide to drive an extra 15 minutes to find the unexpected.
Located near Vaccareccia (which by the way means cattle or place where cattle is bred) , the Abbey was founded in 735 A.D. during the Lombard domination (the area was part of the Duchy of Spoleto) by the Benedictine monks of Farfa Abbey. Destroyed by the Saracens in 891, it was rebuilt a century later.
In the XVI century the abbey is turned into a fortress and a residence of Ranuccio Farnese, who rearranges the northern wing. In the XVI century the building goes through further restauration thanks to Cardinal Francesco Barberini, the nephew of Pope Ubano VIII
In 1618 the Abbey became a seminar.
Around 1860 the Abbey was abandoned. Over the last few years tha Abbaey has been renovated. Considering the very few resources the local administration is certainly doing its best to bring back the Abbey to a new life. But the works haven’t finished yet and the Abbey can be visited only on reservation.
This place, even if not yet accessible, melts magnificently with the surrounding landscape and gives the approaching visitors the feeling of being back to another era.