Abbazia di Santo Spirito Al Morrone


It’s hard to miss this massive 13th-century Celestine abbey in Badia, close to the sheer western slopes of the Morrone mountains. Notable for its monumental staircase, religious frescoes and old pharmacy, its main sights can be seen on English- and Italian-language tours. Damaged in an earthquake in 1706, it has been restored several times, done time as a prison and now houses local government offices, the HQ of Majella national park, and regular art expos and music concerts.

Like many religious sites in the area, the abbey owes its existence to the hermit who became Pope Celestino V (aka Pietro di Angelerio), whose ‘great refusal’ (abdication) caused political furore in the late 13th century.