Local nineteenth-century historical sources place the foundation of the complex of San Giovanni in Valsenio Abbey, mostly known as Valsenio Abbey, in the early decades of the fifth century.
Next to Valsenio Abbey, stood a Benedictine monastery with a beautiful cloister and a guest house. The abbey raised in a strategic point of the valley. Its importance is documented by the breadth of its possessions and the numerous satellite churches. Also, because councils and assemblies of the community gathered in this place. Then, the church passed to the secular clergy, most likely due to the consistent decrease in the number of monks. Substantial restoration work carried out recently brought to light sections of earlier structures, some from the pre-Christian era and of majestic appearance.
The real surprise was found under the apse: the remains of an older church, with a trilobed plan (that is, with three apses) that dates back to the seventh or eighth century after Christ. Valsenio Abbey is truly a special place in Casola Valsenio, where visitors can breathe the mystical yet simple atmosphere of Medieval countryside churches.
Go down the ancient stone steps that lead under the apse, to take in all the magic of this place.
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