June, 2010

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At this Retreat House you’re close enough to enjoy the sophistication of London for a fraction of what London accommodations cost … only $82.00 for half board

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Conveniently located in a popular northern suburb of London, the retreat house is minutes from the heart of London.

Conveniently located in a popular northern suburb of London, the retreat house is about forty minutes from the heart of London. It is also very close to St. Albans, an appealing old market town particularly compelling because of the Roman settlement of Verulamium, the first Roman municipium in Britain. At one time Verulamium was the third largest town in Roman Britain. The story of this ancient place is told at the Verulamium Museum in a large park at the western edge of St. Albans. There are interpretive and interactive exhibits built around the archaeological digs that detail every aspect of life in Roman times. The parkland covers much of the ancient metropolis that still possesses Roman walls and intricate, colorful mosaics preserved in situ.

Close to the House, Berkhamsted is an attractive market town set in a lush green valley. It was the place where William the Conqueror took the Throne of England from the Saxons in 1066. There is a lovely old High Street with several noted buildings. To the rear of High Street lies the picturesque Grand Union Canal. Its most scenic part is where the canal passes King’s Road, taking in old bridges and lofty warehouse buildings before heading through ancient locks on its journey to the countryside.

Built in a nature lover’s paradise… stay at this convent for $45 per day including all meals.

Monday, June 14th, 2010

The convent is one of the main mystical sites of the Franciscan world.

A Nature Lover’s Paradise, the Convent is built on the edge of an incredible, mile-high stone mountain that overlooks the Casentino Valley. Quartered in a small Etruscan town, the convent is considered one of the main mystical sites of the Franciscan world. It is where in 1224 Saint Francis of Assisi received the Stigmata from Jesus. In 1213 it was donated to Saint Francis by Count Orlando. The Chapel of Santa Maria Degli Angeli, modeled after the Porziuncola in Assisi, was built between 1216 and 1218; while the construction of the main basilica, Santa Maria Assunta, was begun in 1358 and completed in 1509.

Set in a landscape of superlative beauty the site commingles nature, art and faith. The sanctuary houses an outstanding collection of glazed terra cotta works from the Della Robbia school. Outdoor enthusiasts will find hiking trails indicated with red and white markers by Club Alpino Italiano. Some of the trails lead to Camaldoli while others continue as far as Lake Trasimeno in Umbria.

Nearby is the hilltop citadel of Caprese Michelangelo, birthplace of Michelangelo, recognized genius of the Renaissance. The quaint center of town rests on a green knoll and is distinguished by an ancient castle housing full-sized reproductions of Michelangelo’s sculptures.

The Quadrante, summit of Monte Penna can be reached by traversing an ancient fir and beach forest. Views from the top embrace the valleys of the rivers Arno and Tevere.

For more information visit monasteriesofitaly.com