Stay at an old monastery in the middle of Abruzzi highlands, where you will find both wolves, deer and martens! Monastero di Santo Spirito seems to be in a solitary location in a quiet and poignant setting - yet it is only approx. 3 km to the three nearby towns: Ocre, Casentino and Fossa, and just around 12 km from the Abruzzo regional capital L'Aquila. The nearest restaurant is also approx. 3 km from the monastery.
The quadrangular monastery dating back to the year 1222 offers you many inviting outdoor areas from where you can enjoy the breathtaking views of the entire Aterno Valley. There are several panoramic terraces, a dazzling loggia and a beautiful enclosed courtyard. The spacious monastery is steeped in mysticism including many symbols and clues from the Knights Templar. It is home to an abbey church with a chapel (from year 1248) with original frescoes and many beautiful halls with walls of original stone.
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You can stretch your legs with a walk in the mountains, take a tour of the castle Rocca Calascio or visit the large town of L'Aquila. The monastery has a fine library. It is also possible to dine on-site but this must be booked in advance.
Not only is it quite unusual to be able to stay in such a historic monastery, but almost unheard of to find an award winning monastery. Monastero di Santo Spirito received the award as Middle Italy's best resort in 2010 from the Touring Club Italiano organisation. Only four places are chosen to receive this award each year and the criteria is based on quality, hospitality, service, price and order; the owners work relentlessly to maintain the high standards. They produce their own saffron, pick truffles, make honey and exchange commodities with their wine producing neighbours. This sense of craftsmanship and quality applies right down to the smallest detail: for example, the body care products in the bathrooms are based on donkey milk and olive oil. And if you fall in love with them during your stay, it is possible to purchase some to take home with you.
- The monastery has 12 spacious rooms which are categorized as single, double, triple and four bed rooms. Four of the rooms have a loft. Two rooms have a connecting door, which is a good option for families with children. Rooms are either in the west wing and look out to the courtyard and the countryside, or in the east wing and have a landscape view. All rooms have fine historical features as well as modern conveniences such as a flat or regular TV, telephone and a private bathroom with a shower and toilet. Here, at approx. 700 metres above sea level there is no need for air conditioning. You can enjoy a lovely landscape view from the rooms, but there are no balconies due the age of the property. The site provides mountain bikes for you to use during their stay.