About Fonte Avellana
Fonte Avellana is a medieval hermitage nestled amongst the mountains of Serra Sant'Abbondio in Italy's Le Marche region.
Also known as the Venerable Hermitage of the Holy Cross, Fonte Avellana has a rich history, including being described in Dante's Divine Comedy.
Founded in around 1000AD, Fonte Avellana was originally home to an order of monks by the same name as well as to Saint Peter Damianus, who is said to have greatly contributed to its growth. One other figure who had a significant influence on the practices Fonte Avellana was St. Romuald, the founder of the Camaldolese Monks of the Order of Saint Benedict. Eventually, Fonte Avellana even became part of this congregation.
In 1325, Fonte Avellana was consecrated as an abbey, a unique honour for a Camaldolese house and one which allowed it to thrive. Soon after it was also provided with grants in commendam, a practice whereby the monks would host outsiders. It is said that this had a great role in the decline of the Fonte Avellana community, which was finalised in 1810 by Napoleonic forces who dissolved it.
Today, Fonte Avellana is once again a working monastery and its beautifully austere structure has been fully restored. Amongst the most notable aspects of the site are its crypt, its church, it library and also the old pharmacy, which still prepares traditional cures.