Amidst rivers, lavender fields, olive groves, and pastures dotted with donkeys and horses, the Abbey of San Giusto waits serenely four kilometers from the town of Tuscania in an area called ancient Etruria, or as we prefer, Tuscia Viterbese.
I Conversi perches over a view of the cloisters on the western side of the abbey. Its present grandeur flourished from humble roots: the Conversi were the Lay Brothers who lacked clerical status but still lived and worked at the monastery.
Today, the I Conversi quarters have been transformed into a luxurious suite, so expansive one could cartwheel across its living area amidst pieces of furniture more ancient than vintage. A divan and plush sofa upholstered in indulgent textiles contrast with restored stone walls left cool, porous, and undressed. Seating is clustered around a fireplace, a dream for the chilly months. As if evoking that famous monastic discipline, there are no televisions or phones in sight. A bit of reading and good conversation is in order.
Towards the middle of this grand living hall, a time-polished dining table seats six. Here is where you will be served your home-cooked, organic seasonal breakfast every morning, or enjoy the meals you may wish to prepare from your private kitchen at the end of this hall. Simply leave a message with the abbey’s kitchen in the morning should you wish for a dinner prepared by the in-house chef that evening.
An indulgent four-poster bed fitted with luxury beddings awaits in the spacious bedroom. Modernity finds its place in the en suite bathroom, which is fitted with the comforts of the twenty-first century.
WiFi is available in the room. You will need a car in order to get to the abbey and explore the surrounding areas, as the nearest town is four kilometers away.
While you may find yourself quite happy languishing in your suite, it is good to know that the abbey is open to exploration. Feel free to meander the halls and corridors, and common areas like the refectory, the gardens and fields. Dog lovers will be happy to know that there are three friendly and well-behaved four-legged friends on the property.
The Abbey of San Giusto is surrounded by rivers, parks, churches, and ancient history, perfect for an excursion in nature and cultural discovery. The nearest town of Tuscania was an ancient Etruscan city of great wealth and importance, as attested by the tombs and necropoleis left for our eyes today. Further outside of town sitting high on a hill are the superb churches of Santa Pietro and Santa Maria, a display of unrivalled masterworks of Romanesque architecture. And a little further still is the sea! The beautiful beaches of Tarquinia: “Le Saline” near the natural park Capalbio, Spiaggia del Chiarone Monte Argentario, La Feniglia, and La Giannella are just a few kilometers away.
Tuscania, Italy, is one hour north of Rome. Nearest airport: Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport, Rome.
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