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The Abbey of Montecassino (Abbazia di Montecassino)
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Footprints on the Battlefield Trails of Monte Cassino
Ranked #1 of 24 things to do in Cassino
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Founded by St. Benedict in 529, this abbey has suffered devastation many times but has been magically recreated.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
67 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Abbey Tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 26, 2013

A definite must see when in the area of Cassio. Attend the services on Sunday morning, tour the beautiful church and see the paintings.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Wade R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2013

I was not expecting such a magnificent building. This was more for my husbands benefit that we went there so I wasn't expecting much at all. I was blown away at how peaceful and breath-taking the views are. We took a taxi from our hotel and he was amazing, he turned out to be our own tour guide, telling us all the history of the area and pointing out important landmarks. He drove us to the top and waited there for us to wander round for an hour, when we returned I showed him a photo of the Polish war cemetery and ask what it was he offered to take us there as well at no extra cost, then he suggested we look at the Cassino War Cemetery as the weather was supposed to turn stormy and it would save us doing it the following day in the rain. Everything about this little town was brilliant, the people are so friendly and helpful, totally loved it.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank Angela R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Izmir, Turkey
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not so interesting if you are not a Catholic”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2013

I can understand that the place is a holy place and that's why it gets much attention. However, it does not offer much except the view and newly built architecure (after WWII).

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Can D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
100 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Beautiful Abbey.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013

The Abbey at Monte Cassino was totally destroyed during WW2 - the scene of 3 dreadful battles during the Battle of Rome. It stands high above the town at 6,000' and reached by a series of hairpin bends with staggering views across the valley. It is clearly visible form the town far below.
The Abbey has been totally rebuilt and restored and is a place of peace and calm now, with no real hint of its violent past except the sight of the Polish cemetery on the hillside. ( Commonweath cemetery is lower , on the outskirts of the town)
Outer areas are quite simple, rebuilt in plain white stone to the same plan as the original. A series of open courtyards including a Peace Garden and terrace with beautiful views.
The Basilica is accessed by a steep flight of wide steps, with few handrails. But worth the climb ! Absolutely glorious - more gold leaf than you can imagine, gorgeous marble floors and walls, statues, frescoes - the works!! The crypt is large, quiet and peaceful, accessible by a flight of shallow steps. Lots of gold leaf and paintings on the low ceilings. I don't think a single square inch is left undecorated anywhere in the building - except for some areas on the ceiling deliberately left to recognise the loss of valued frescoes.
I was worried about getting back down the steep steps without falling - but we continued on through the Museum, which was interesting and included access to quiet courtyards and a small chapel. The bonus was that we made our way down several easy staircases within the museum exhibits - and finally came out into the lower courtyard ! Totally unexpected and problem solved! A pity that this isn't shown as an alternative route - it's worth paying the small entry fee! ( The Abbey is free to enter otherwise).
The museum was interesting and well set out.
We had been warned of the dress code - no problem. Visiting hours were a little confusing - we had been told it opened at 3 but in fact signs said 3.30 when we got there. Actually seemed nearer 3.15. but nowhere really to wait or sit out of the hot sun except sitting on a little wall. Toilets in the carpark - but seemed to be locked, maybe just over lunchtime. We had read that there was a small cafe but we only found some vending machine for drinks & snacks next to the gift shop next to the Museum exit.
Well worth the visit - allow at least 2hrs.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank keephoping
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Abbey of Monte Cassino - Tour Guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2013

When planning our trip to Italy, one of places we had to see was Monte Cassino. My husband and our friend were both in the Canadian Military so it was important sight for them to see to remember the Canadian troops who fought in this battle during World War II.

I did a google search for a tour of this area and Dr. Danila Bracaglia website came up and came highly recommended. Website: http://nuke.montecassinotour.com/ Email: danila.bracaglia@facebook.com We were able to book our tour for September. We were lucky to have two other couples join us in the tour. One couple from Australia and the other couple from the US. Both of fathers of the gentlemen on the tour fought during the Monte Cassino campaign.

Danila is a wealth of information and she also has the stories from veterans who fought in Italy which really added to the experience. Our first stop was the Abbey of Monte Cassino. Looking at it now, it's hard to believe that most all of the Abbey was destroyed during WWII. The history of the Abbey is amazing. Looking out into the Liri Valley you can see the Polish Cemetery. That was our next stop.

Over 1,000 Polish soldiers are buried here. When we were visiting, there was a bus of Polish school children (about 13/14/15 years old) holding a special service. Quite moving to see youth remembering the sacrifices of all the soldiers.

The part that stuck with me was the visit to the Commonwealth Cemetery where 4,271 brave souls are low laid to rest. 855 of these are Canadian. Walking through the cemetery reading the names and ages of those who fought and lost their lives during this battle is something to behold.

If you want to really get a lot out of your trip, contact Danila. I will be telling anybody I know who is going to Italy to contact her about arranging a tour of this area. You will not be disappointed.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank 147Barb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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