Between the lake and the holy paths

Fiastra is most famous for its lake, a vast artificial reservoir formed by the construction of a dam across the river Fiastrone measuring an impressive 86 metres high and 360 metres long. In past centuries, this municipality and its valley welcomed many religious people who found its isolation ideal for meditation. Bearing witness to this are the nearby Grotta dei Frati (or “Friars’ Cave”), the Sanctuary of the Blessed Ugolino in the hamlet of Fiegni and the churches of St Paul and St Mark. These are some of the stop offs on the many tracks that saints and pilgrims have beaten in the Park area, creating a dense network of holy paths. MORE DETAILES

TO VISIT Si parte dalla chiesa di San Rocco (1) nel cui interno si trovano una tela dipinta ad olio, raffigurante St Carlo Borromeo and fine paintings depicting the Madonna of Loreto, St Sebastian and St Rocco. Further on is the abbey of St Paul the Apostle (2) built in Romanesque style in the 11th century. Inside is a painting of the conversion of St Paul, a wooden sculpture of the Madonna with Child, and a Baroque-style crucifix. Next to the church stands the bell tower built in 1914 on the site of its predecessor from 1834. Behind the church you can enjoy panoramic views of the lake of Fiastra (3) .From the church, you can continue to the Monument to the Fallen (4) . From here you can admire the ruins of the ancient Castrum Flastrae (5) where the Mayor resided and where the populations of the valley took refuge during enemy invasions. In the Cupolo locality you will find a typical peasant home (6) and the ruined church of John the Baptist (7) .

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Abbey town

The valley in which the town of Acquacanina is situated, surrounded by high peaks, must immediately have seemed an especially spiritual place to the Benedictine monks, who built an important centre of religious devotion, the Abbey of Rio Sacro. At that time, Acquacanina was the fief of Count Manardo of Sigfredo. Later, in 1192, the Bill of Pope Celestine III placed the abbey under direct papal protection, causing the Benedictines to flourish. From 1284 onwards, the Benedictines, little by little, purchased the "Acquae Claninae" castle which had belonged to the noble Manardi family. Consequently, for almost ten centuries, the civil and religious life of Acquacanina revolved around the abbey and, even when the town later became a free municipality, the mark of the Benedictines lived on in the soul of the town and its inhabitants. MORE DETAILES

DA VISITARE In the Meriggio locality (1) you can enjoy a fabulous view over the lake of Fiastra (2).with a beautiful Romanesque crypt with three naves housing a 12th century crucifix in the Lazio school as well as numerous frescoes, such as that of St Sebastian attributed to Girolamo di Giovanni, and a small octagonal painting by Maratti. The church of Vallone (4) has seven altars and contains interesting paintings including a 17th century Deposition and a 16th century Madonna with Child. In Campicino, you can see the ruins of the Romanesque chiesa di S. Michele Arcangelo (5) featuring a 15th century dove tower. In Vallecanto, you can visit the perimeter wall of the Da Varano castle (6) with the church of St Margaret (7). inside.

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