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5 Monasteries keeping ancient monastic recipes alive 


When you visit these Italian monasteries, you can eat as monks have eaten for centuries.

Italian monasteries are famous for their stunning architecture, their contemplative atmosphere and for carrying on some of the most long-standing food traditions in the country. From Trentino, in northern Italy, all the way down to Sicily, here is a list of the monastic complexes where you can eat like a monk. 

1. Monastery of Santa Scholastica, Latium

Nestled along the cliffs bordering the pristine Aniene Valley, just a few miles from Rome, the Benedictine Monastery of St. Scholastica, also known as Subiaco Abbey, is the only surviving monastery of the 12 monasteries founded by Benedictines during the Middle Ages.

Built in the 8th century and expanded over the following centuries, it features elements of Gothic and Romanesque architecture, including a Gothic style refectory on the west wing of the cloister. For the past 500 years Benedictine monks have been diligently working to turn fresh produce from the monastery’s vegetable garden into gastronomic delicacies. From deep-fried zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta to pasta with fresh mushrooms and peas and ham filled with pistachios, Santa Scholastica is a trove of gastronomic treasures.

The monastery is open to the public. You can spend the night or visit the refectory to enjoy one of the Benedictine recipes prepared by monks. To book visits, send an email to

Nestled along the cliffs bordering the pristine Aniene valley, just outside Rome, the Monastery of Santa Scholastica offers a variety of Benedictine dishes from deep fried zucchini flowers to ham filled with pistachios.

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