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St. Martino in Valle's monastery

Municipality: Fara San Martino (CH).

Locality: St. Spirito great valley, at about 500 m. a.s.l.

Building: The monastery probably rose on an hermitic village constituted by a cell dug up in stone.
The structure, which was revealed only recently, was continually rebuilt between the 9th and the 18th century. The remains of an entrance gate and a courtyard are visible; the latter leads to a colonnade which originally had three arcades leaning on four columns with foliate capitals. On the northern side of the colonnade there's a bell-gable, which was renovated during the 16th century, while the gate of the church dates back to the 13th century.
The inside is divided into three naves with a irregular plan and the pavement of the presbytery is made of stone plates
There, the brick seats that probably formed the choir can also be found. A wall with three arcades and traces of frescos leads from the central nave to the northern one; from this side it's possible to go into the most ancient room of the church, which is entirely dug up in stone and holds two small columns datable to 1411.

History and traditions: The monastery was attested for the first time in 829 among the properties of the St. Stefano's monastery in Lucania, between Atessa and Tornareccio. Some years before St. Martino was donated by Pipino, Charlemagne's son, to St. Stefano's monastery, as a confirmation of Emperor Lotario in 832 testimonies.
The dedication to the bishop of Tour allows to suppose a Frank foundation. The monastery is among the economic rents of the bishop of Spoleto in 844, but immediately afterward it is counted among the properties of the Cassinian monks of St. Liberatore a Maiella.
In 1172 it belonged to the diocese of Chieti and in 1221 Onorio the 3rd gave the monastery the papal protection. The contrasts between monks and bishops of Chieti lasted long and in 1451 the monastery was closed and its properties were devolved to the vatican chapter.

Reachable with path: H1

Visit information: Visitor's Centre of Fara S. Martino – Tel. +39.0872.980 070 – +39.339.2615405

Image of inside of St. Martino in Valle's monastery
Image of St. Martino in Valle's monastery
Image of St. Martino in Valle's monastery
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