During August we had the pleasure of having a lovely French family to stay with us. We soon learned that their summer holiday was booked to coincide with a family wedding that was to take place in this beautiful area of South Lazio. The bride’s family originated from the small town of Casalvieri, which is very close to Atina, the birthplace of my Italian grandparents, in the beautiful Val di Comino. The wedding was to be held at the Abbey of Casamari in Frosinone, which is located between the towns of Frosinone and Sora, close to Isola del Liri, with its beautiful waterfall.
We expressed interest about the wedding, and asked if we could tag along to observe the celebrations.
Thus, on the day of the wedding, Paul and I drove to Casamari. We purposely arrived early so that we had plenty of time to explore the ancient abbey, which is still a functioning monastery housing approximately twenty monks.
The Cistercian monastery dates back to the 13th century and is dedicated to Santa Maria, San Giovanni and San Paolo. It is noted as being a fine example of early-Gothic architecture, similar to that found at the Abbey of Fossanova, near Priverno.
The church has an elegant nave with clean simple lines and a vaulted ceiling. Despite its simplicity there are some examples of beautiful intricately carved stonework ….
… and some wonderfully ornate bronze doors.
Interestingly many of the windows, instead of being made of stained glass, are glazed with translucent slices of agate alabaster which give the majestic building a golden amber glow.
The main altar is of an ornate Baroque style, and was beautifully decorated for the wedding with exquisite arrangements of white roses.
We also explored the outside of the Abbey, the courtyard and gardens.
The tranquil Cloister and covered walkway has an ancient well as its centrepiece and the flowerbeds were planted with stunning scarlet salvias.
Before long the wedding guests began to arrive and the ceremony to celebrate the couple’s union got underway.
What a splendid location for a fairy tale wedding.
We wish the radiant couple much love and happiness and many splendid years together.
Our special friends : La Famille Filatriau: Regis, Domenique, Solenn and Tatiana
All photos by me © Louise Shapcott