The benedictine abbey of San Pietro in Valle is a historical monastery of Valnerina and certainly one of the most important examples of high-medieval art of Central Italy.
We suggest you to reach it from the village of Macenano so that the monastery can reveal itself, little by little, at the end of the road protected by a row of cypress trees.
A single visit will not fully satisfy your desire. The sense of quiet and the magical atmosphere of the place will return to exercise a thin fascination once back home.
Built between the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 6th century on the ruins of a previous Roman building (perhaps a pagan temple), it became an important religious center linked to the Longobard Dukes of Spoleto and destined to welcome their remains after their retirement to monastic life. The period of ruin due to the end of the Longobard kingdom and the Saracen invasions of the ninth century was followed by a restoration and an expansion desired by the emperors Otto III and later Henry II and the final assignment to the Roman church that in the 14th century entrusted it to the Ancajani family from Spoleto. Today the monastic complex, privately owned, has been transformed into a beautiful historical residence while the church has become part of the museum complex which also concerns the Museum of the Mummies of Ferentillo. The church can be visited on the days and the times indicated on the site of the above mentioned Museum.
The church preserves important vestiges of the artistic heritage ranging from roman sarcophagi from the 3rd / 4th century to the many fragments and remains of the roman and longobard era; from the traces of mosaic on the floor of the apse made with stones and materials from the roman period to the precious altar that shows bas-reliefs from the longobard period.
Impossible not to mention the romanesque frescoes from the 12th century which alone are worth a visit. Made on the two sides of the nave of the church and distributed on three different orders, this cycle of frescoes depicts scenes of the old and new testaments and separates itself from the static byzantine pictorial style introducing, among many, elements such as perspective and dynamism.