This article, written by ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH, appears on The Globe And Mail.
The Abbey of San Giovanni in Venere is perched on a bluff above the Adriatic Sea, overlooking a patch of grapevines, olive trees, and a long sandy stretch of beach. In the Italian province of Chieti, the Abbey was completed in the 13th century and built over an old Roman temple – columns from which still remain deep in the Abbey’s crypt, alongside frescoes from a (slightly) more recent period in history.
There’s nothing particularly special about the Abbey of San Giovanni – it is spectacularly old and historic and the setting is clearly sublime, but by Italian standards, that’s not such a big deal.
What does make it, and so many other buildings in the Abruzzo region of Italy, a big deal is that even if you visit in high season, you may find yourself the only tourist in the building. Remember that when shuffling shoulder-to-shoulder through the basilicas and chapels of Rome and museums of Florence. In Abruzzo, visitors have the luxury of time to absorb the architectural details and weight of history contained within Italy’s cultural treasures. Read more on The Globe And Mail…
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