Our local Casamari Abbey is one that attracts visitors from far and wide so we're fortunate to be able to spend time within the grounds as a matter of course since it's a working community that serves the local area. The pharmacy, the shop that sells monastic items, the parish office and social rooms, the farm shop, the college high school and the retreat houses are run by the monks and also provide employment as well as a local service. The post office is within the outer walls of the monastery complex and the sports ground is now managed by the parish. The olive groves on the moors behind the abbey are also rented out and cultivated by the locals. However, the landscape remains unspoilt because the land is in a conservation area and building regulations are very strict.
One morning we took a walk around the area that's mainly cultivated for the needs of the monastery and college, which is a boarding school as well as a day school. We then walked through the college gardens and back into the monastery inner courtyard gardens.
Old columns have stood there for centuries.The lift on the left has been installed recently which must benefit the elderly members of the community.
Wine can be bought from the monastery cantina.
The above building was the kitchen and dining room for the people working on the land and in the monastery.
We met one of the present day gardeners and had a chat about horticulture. He had lived and studied in England and America and spoke excellent English. He gave me a kiwi to try.
These buildings used to be the stables, but now they're being used as workshops.
old mill stones
the path leading to retreat houses
Next time I will continue with our walk around the college gardens and then back to the monastery
courtyards and cloister.