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Subiaco, Monastery of San BenedettoPhoto: CC0, Wikimedia Commons
Subiaco is considered one of the most historically important places in Italian Lazio.
In the valley of the Aniene, Subiaco is grouped around a hill at the exit of the Aniene Gorge. Historically, the site is particularly significant. Emperor Claudius had three reservoirs built here and Nero had a spacious villa built. Around the year 500, Saint Benedict moved into a cave above the villa as a hermit and spent three years there. Benedict then lived in Subiaco with some followers until 529 and shaped the town. Even when the founder of the order left the area, his teaching did not cease. From 1200 onwards, a monastery was built over the hermit's cave, which still exists today. The heyday of the abbey was in the 13th and 14th centuries, but it was lived out at the expense of the rural population. Even after an escalation in 1454 with several deaths and the takeover of the abbey by cardinals of the Pope, the exploitation of the rural population continued. Today, the excavations of the Nero Villa, the monastery of San Benedetto (also known as Sacro Speco) above the cave, the monastery of Santa Scolastica and the Ponte di San Francesco are particularly worth seeing.
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