Abbey of Sant'Ippolito

On the isthmus between Lago Piccolo and Lago Grande stands the Benedictine abbey of Monticchio, dating from the 10th-11th centuries.

The church, with its three-lobed apse and atrium to which the bell tower was added at a later date, can be traced back to this period.

Nearly five hundred years after its construction, in 1456, an earthquake irreparably destroyed a large part of the Abbey, forcing the Benedictines to abandon it. They moved to the ancient Basilian site: the lavras on the cliff over Lago Piccolo [a lavra or laura is a type of monastery consisting of a cluster of cells or caves].

t is likely that the abbey came to occupy the entire isthmus between the two lakes.

Today, thanks to new work, the excavation has been extended and further evidence has been brought to light. The bell tower has also been almost completely rebuilt. 

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