Tourist Attraction in Sermoneta: Abbazia di Valvisciolo
The Valvisciolo abbey built in strict Romanesque-Cistercian style is one of the greatest masterpieces of the kind of the province after the Fossanova abbey. Tradition wants this abbey was founded in the twelfth century by Greek monks and was occupied and restored by the Templars in the 13th century. When in the 14th century this order was dissolved, the Cistercians took over. A medieval legend is linked to this abbey, where it is reported that in 1314, when the last great Templar Master, Jacques de Molay, was laid to fire, the architects of the churches broke. Even today, observing carefully the architrave of the main portal of the abbey, one can see a crack. The clues of the presence of the Templars are made up of some characteristic crosses: the first floor of the church floor, the ceiling of the cloister and the most famous of all sculptured on the left side of the central eye of the rose window, which emerged in the restorations of the beginning of the century. In recent times, on the western side of the cloister, by cutting off a wall of wall, the five famous words of the magic palindrome: SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS, with the variant, so far unicum, emerged Twenty-five letters are arranged in five concentric circular rings, each divided into five sectors, so as to form a target-like figure. In 1411 the abbey was handed over to commendation by Paolo Caetani. In 1523 it was downgraded by Clement VII to a simple priory. In 1529 it was reduced to a secular priority. Between 1600 and 1605 it was inhabited by the Cistercians of the Congregation of the Foglianti until 1619. Between 1619 and 1635 the abbey was inhabited by the Mines of Saint Francis of Paola. The Foglianti who resided there until the suppression of the religious orders wanted by Napoleon Bonaparte returned again. Pius IX made two important visits to the abbey in 1863 and 1865. It was Pio IX's intention that the abbey became conventual priory dependent on the Casamari congregation. On July 5, 1888, Priory D. Bartolomeo M. Daini redeemed the monastic complex put up for auction by the Commune of Sermoneta with the sum of £ 10,150. Now the Abbey continues to be inhabited by the Cistercian monks of the Casamari congregation. The interior of the church, with three naves divided by pillars and columns, features walls of frescoes according to the canons of the "memento mori" of the Cistercians who avoided architectural splendor because it did not count for them materiality but spirituality. At the bottom of the left nave is the chapel of San Lorenzo. Frescoed in 1586-89 by the painter Niccolò Circignani called Pomarancio on commission of Cardinal Enrico Caetani and Honorary IV. This cycle of frescoes was made during the visit of Pope Sisto V in the Caetani ducat. Inside the chapel there are many autocelebratory notes related to the ducal title which in 1586 was granted to Honor IV. In fact, there are many ducal crowns held by puttins. Interestingly, the self-portrait of the Pomarancio that scholar Sonia Testa discovered between the grotesque decoration of the vault, near the two sails with the episode in which San Lorenzo works the conversion of Lucilio and that with the episode in which St. Lawrence baptized In prison in San Romano. Above the entrance door you can notice a rose window. The cloister at the right of the abbey looking at the facade has a brightly colored garden.