Saint Scholastica medieval monastery surrounded by trees in Subiaco.

© Lucky Team Studio/Shutterstock

Monastero di Santa Scolastica


Subiaco's Monastero di Santa Scolastica is the only one of the 13 monasteries built by St Benedict still standing in the Valley of the Amiene – and still occupied by monks. Visitable by free guided tour, it's a fascinating place centred on three internal cloisters, each dating from a separate period: the first from the Renaissance, the second from the Gothic 14th century, and the third from the 1200s. Towering over everything is the monastery's landmark bell tower, virtually unchanged since the 12th century.

As well as its fascinating architecture, the monastery also boasts an important place in history as the site of Italy's first ever printing press. This was established by two visiting German monks in 1464.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lazio attractions

1. Monastero di San Benedetto


This spectacularly sited hilltop monastery is carved into the rock over the cave where St Benedict supposedly spent three years meditating. As well as its…

3. Parco Villa Gregoriana

16.3 MILES

This scenic park, laid out by Pope Gregory XVI in 1834, cascades down a steep, thickly wooded gorge overlooked by a 2nd-century BC Roman temple. Paths…

4. Rocca Pia

16.36 MILES

Dominating the centre of town, Tivoli's castle has been a local landmark since Pope Pio II had it built in the late 15th century. With its formidable…

5. Villa d'Este

16.46 MILES

In the hilltop centre, the steeply terraced grounds of Villa d'Este are a superlative example of a Renaissance garden, complete with monumental fountains,…

6. Villa Adriana

17.38 MILES

The ruins of Hadrian's vast country estate, 5km outside of Tivoli proper, are quite magnificent, easily on a par with anything you'll see in Rome. Built…

7. Tusculum

22.25 MILES

The remnants of ancient Tusculum lie littered on a hilltop a few kilometres outside Frascati – you'll need a car to get to the site. The main ruins of…

8. Villa Aldobrandini Gardens

23.45 MILES

Looming over Frascati's main square, Villa Aldobrandini is a haughty 16th-century villa designed by Giacomo della Porta and built by Carlo Maderno. It's…