Passions & Places

Abbazia San Benedetto de'Frondigliosi

Abbazia San Benedetto de'Frondigliosi

The origin of the abbey of Castelplanio dates back to ancient times. The name "Frondigliosi"- used for at least seven centuries - still indicates a sinking that was rich in woods and that leads from the Abbey to the hill of Poggio San Marcello.

The monks were looking in this territory for a place where they could found an Abbey, and they found this “plain of leafy trees”, the current territory of Castelplanio.

It was first named in the Camaldolensian Annals of 1199, where mention is made of "Sancte Marie de Monte Bamposo" and "Sancti Benedecti De Frondellis" as assets acknowledged to the Abbey of Sant'Elena. 

The term "bamposo" indicates the mount on which Poggio San Marcello is, with reference to vamposo, namely prone to fires, and “frondellis", meaning woody, the foundation of the Abbey is certainly more ancient.

It was probably founded in the 11th century as a rectory, namely as a monastery, by monks called regular canons. 

It soon joined the Abbey of Sant'Elena, whose religious and political influence was rapidly spreading over the surrounding territory. Monks living outside the abbey also belonged to it.

In early 13th century the Bishop of Jesi was the lord of wide territories in the Esino Valley, on which he had a feudal as well as spiritual jurisdiction. 

It was also the case of the Villa of San Benedetto, the first centre of Castel del Plano, which developed around the Abbey.

The Abbey was modified many times over centuries; therefore its most ancient and charming part is the Cloister, composed of an open gallery enclosed in a series of polygonal brick mullions, supporting small round arches through a quadrangular capital.

It towers over a porch, renewed in late 16th century.

The Abbey has hosted important cultural events and is now undergoing restoration, concerning in particular its cloister and the southwest side.

This wing has so far been neglected, but as from the year 2000 it was able to welcome pilgrims and tourists who from Rome went to Assisi and Loreto. Visitors now have the chance to admire the charming landscape and the luxuriant nature surrounding this place of worship.

2001 Liberation Ventures Ltd.

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