Cradle of western monasticism and of the press in Italy, it is situated about 20 minutes from l’Antica Mola
- Monastery of St. Scholastica
- Monastery of St. Benedict or Sacro Speco
- Rocca Abbey
- Church of St. Francis
- Bridge of San Francesco
- Villa of Nero
According to legends, the first inhabitants were the slaves involved in the construction of the villa (58-64 AD) of Emperor Nero. Sublaquum "under the lake" was the Roman name, due to the location of the village, which was below the three lakes made by the emperor to embellish his residence. However, the first inhabitants of the area were the Equi, conquered by Rome in 304 BC
After the arrival of St. Benedict
From the seventh to the seventeenth century the monasteries of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica were important from every point of view for the whole territory reaching the Kingdom of Naples. The Benedictine order (accordingly the abbot) were very powerful, so much that his support was instrumental in the relations between the papacy and the empire. The typical medieval village was built on a rocky cliff around the villa of the Emperor Nero. The Rocca built after the year 1000, to strike fear in the people, always reluctant to submit to the domination of the Benedictine monastery, became the residence of the Abate and of the following families: Borgia, Colonna and Barberini
Monastery of St. Scholastica
Dating back to the sixth century, it was originally called the monastery of San Silvestro. It’s the only one left of the thirteen monasteries founded by St. Benedict of Norcia in the earthquake zone which was destroyed or abandoned over time. It consists of a series of buildings with very different styles. Little now remains of the original building: destroyed by the Saracens, around the years 828-876, then during the bombings of World War II. The library is very important due to the rare and ancient books.
Saint Benedict Monastery - Sacred Cave
Rather than being only a monastery, it is a complex of two churches built over the cave inhabited by the Holy, clinging to the side of the mountain held up by a wall of arches overlooking the valley of the river Aniene, which Petrarca called "limen havens" ( "the border of Paradise"). The most mystical site of the monastery is the Holy cave (Sacro Speco), where St. Benedict lived for three years.
Nero chose this place for the wild and rugged territory and the swirling waters of the Aniene river, but also to escape the summer heat of Rome and bathe in cold baths as prescribed by his doctor.