Cassino tour: what to see
In the heart of Ciociaria, Cassino is a town rich in history and nature. Thanks to its water sources it was a place appreciated since Roman times, and then became a famous religious center with San Benedetto and the monastery of Montecassino since the early Middle Ages. The numerous historical and artistic testimonies, which despite looting and destruction have resisted the passage of time, make Cassino a site of inestimable architectural and environmental value.
Roman finds from ancient Cassino
In Monticello, near the train station, there are the Varronian Baths built on the orders of Marco Terenzio Varrone, a famous Roman literary and grammarian of the first century BC. The natural thermal park is made up of numerous sources of water which join the Rapido river. It is the largest spring area in Italy, beautiful to visit also from a naturalistic as well as historical point of view. The spas are still in operation today and are frequented by many people for the healing benefits of its waters. Among the Roman ruins of the ancient Casinum there are also sections of cobbled streets (in fact the Via Latina passed through here), ancient walls, parts of Roman villas and the remains of the amphitheater and the aqueduct.
Montecassino Abbey, the center of Christianity
Founded by San Benedetto da Norcia in 529 AD, on the remains of an ancient Roman temple dedicated to Apollo, the Abbey of Montecassino is a symbol not only for the city of Cassino, but also for the entire western Christian community. Next to the abbey, which stands on a 520 m high overlooking the town, stands the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, in Neapolitan Baroque style, inside which, in a crypt decorated with golden mosaics, the relics of San Benedetto and Santa Scholastica. This monastery has gone through countless vicissitudes: around the middle of the 16th century, a few decades after its foundation, it was destroyed by the Lombards, then collapsed due to an earthquake in 1349 and, finally, in 1944 it was razed to the ground by a bombing during the Second World War. Only in 1964 the abbey was rebuilt reusing the original material.
Throughout the Middle Ages it represented a fervent center of religious culture and the art of miniature and even today it remains a place of profound spirituality and historical memory. Over time, unfortunately much has been lost, but a large archive and a library with rare historical finds remains. The abbey is open for visits all year round from Monday to Sunday and admission is free and free.