Italian Abbey


Abbazia di Montecassino
The courtyard of the Abbey of Montecassino near Cassino, Italy. Shot in April 2013.

          Living in Italy meant many times the coolest places were only minutes away.  This is the Abbey of Montecassino located on a mountain top high above Cassino, Italy.  Seventy years ago, this was the site of the Battle of Montecassino during the Second World War. The abbey, centuries old, was destroyed by allied forces on February 15, 1944.  While German soldiers were fighting to hold the mountain, none were killed inside the abbey itself as a result of the bombing.  The bombing of the abbey is still a controversial subject and source of hard feelings in Italy.  Click HERE for photos of the bombing of the abbey.  The above photo, Abbazia di Montecassino, was shot with a Canon Rebel T3i, EF-S10-22mm lens at f/10, 1/100 sec, focal length 12mm, and ISO 100.

Italian Sunset

This photo, Italian Sunset, was taken on a family day out with my first Canon Rebel (XSi) and stock 18-55mm lens.  While I like this photo, I should have used a filter to keep the sun from whiting out.  This sunset looks just as tranquil as the Abbey of Montecassino is in real life, especially during winter when only small numbers of tourists venture there.


Today the Abbey looks as if nothing happened and is absolutely worth the trip.  The Abbey’s museum contains many artifacts, such as these Gregorian Chants (L), and takes about an hour to view.  You can also visit the store that sells great vino as well as jams, flavored honey, grappa, and many other items that are made by the monks.  We have purchased many cases of wine there.  If it’s good enough for the monks it’s good enough for our table…

Located nearby is the Polish Cemetery, over a thousand Poles died here in World War Two.  Polish General Władysław Anders who, because the Soviets occupied his country following the war, could not return home.  Anders died in England in 1970 and was buried with his troops at the Montecassino Polish Cemetery.  As a history buff, I never tire of visiting these sites and am lucky my wife hasn’t either!



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