As I wrote in my previous post, I'm looking forward to having more free time to go for long relaxing walks. So, just to make you envious and myself even more longing for that time to come, I'll show you some of the pictures I took one of the last times I went for ...my favourite long walk. It usually starts from here: can you see the cars parked down there in the picture above? I park my car there (two-minute drive from home) and start walking up the hill. The road is quite steep and winding but the place is all peace and tranquillity, surrounded by beautiful high mountains. The site above is what remains of Emperor Nero's Villa near the river Aniene.

Did I tell you the place I live is named Subiaco, a small ancient town in the centre of Italy? Maybe I did. But I didn't tell you it is famous for its two Benedictine Monasteries and for being Gina Lollobrigida's native town, did I? Does anybody remember her in the beautiful Italian comedies of the 50s with Vittorio De Sica or with famous American stars like Humphrey Bogart or Rock Hudson? Well, it was long time ago. Let's go back to my favourite route. Walking up the hill after a while, you pass this historical and architectural site, one of the oldest monasteries founded by St Benedict (Ora et Labora was his motto, that is, Pray and Work). It is dedicated to his sister, St Scholastica, and it is also an important section of our national library where the first book printed in Italy is kept. Going along this road, once you pass those arches over there, you find yourself in a small quiet grove and, climbing on a bit more, you turn back and this is what you see ...
Among the trees, you can catch a glimpse of St. Scholastica's monastery and its Romanesque bell-tower. Impressive, isn't it? At this point of the walk, the temptation to sit down on the side wall and watch the breathtaking view is great but it's not yet time to rest. Let's go on then...
What is extraordinary in these winding steep roads among the mountains is their ... silence. Yes, extraordinary, because we are losing the real meaning of this word and to listen to this kind of REAL silence can make you astonished... Anyhow, this is one of the main reasons why I love this walk.
My final destination is another monastery, a peculiar impressive architectural wonder, we know as the Sacro Speco (sacred cave) because the place is said to be built around the original cave where young Benedict - not yet St. - started living as a hermit in the 6th century.It is such a beautiful place, it is worth the effort of walking up there. Here are for you to admire some pictures of it from different points of you ...

What do I do once I'm up here? I sit and rest and enjoy the beautiful view ...

Isn't it like ... FLYING HIGH?





Elvira said...

Bellissimo! Thanks for sharing it!!

Maria Grazia said...

Thanks to you, Elvira, for being always so kind!

lunarossa said...

What a beautiful place! I thought Subiaco sounded familiar to me! I've recognized the photos of the monastery. I think we should do a house swapping some time!!! ::)) Ciao. A.

Maria Grazia said...

OK, A. Let's think about it. I'd love to visit York and the north of England. Ciao!

London Belle said...


I should find out about the interview next week as they want people starting soon. I would like to be offered the job but wouldn't take it. Not just on the treatment today - but what you said, how difficult it is to get too! I live just up the road from Camden so thought it would be easy. I was very very wrong!

I found the zoo, disappointing on my only visit a few years ago. I'm from the north of England and frequently visited Chester zoo. Nows thats a zoo. London zoo does not come close!

Love your pictures. You're so lucky to see these sites everyday! One of my Italian housemates is going back to Rome on saturday.

Maria Grazia said...

@London Belle
Actually, not every day unfortunately ,but any time I find some spare time to go for a walk.
SO, what am I suppose to do? Fingers crossed for a positive result of your interview or not? :)
P.S. Best regards to your Italian (Roman?) mate.