In Collepardo, in the province of Frosinone, perched on the hilly ridge of Rotonaria, the Certosa of Trisulti is a jewel that you do not expect, all to be discovered. We’ll tell it to you
Visit the Certosa of Trisulti
On our first visit to the Certosa of Trisulti, we must confess that before going on the advice of a friend, we had never heard of it. In fact, unlike many other religious monuments scattered almost everywhere along the Apennines, the Certosa di Trisulti is among the wonders of lesser-known medieval architecture. And very wrongly.
The monastic complex rises on Mount Rotonaria, in the territory of Collepardo, in the middle of the Frosinone countryside and not far from the Roman one.
To visit the Certosa it is not necessary to pay a ticket: it is possible to visit freely to the monastery, respecting, however, the following visit times: from October to March 9: 30-12: 00/15: 30-17: 30, while from April to September 9: 30-12: 00/15: 30-18: 30.
The path that leads to the fortress is already worth the visit: we are in the middle of Ciociaria and between the verdant forest of oaks and the tops of the Ernici Mountains, the silent walk makes a prelude to isolation and prayer that characterize this ancient place of cult.
A bit of history
Around the year one thousand, St. Domenico from Foligno, a Benedictine monk, founded a monastery of the order in this place, already known as a destination for pilgrimages during the Middle Ages. The complex was assigned, in 1204, by Pope Innocent III, to the order of the Certosini, who for over 800 years have kept the abbey and immediately started renovating and rebuilding buildings.
The architectural richness, the works of art that are preserved there and the combination of different styles have made this monastery worthy of being declared an Italian National Monument in 1890.
Since then, the building is owned by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, although its current management has been entrusted to the Cistercian fathers of the Congregation of Casamari since 1947.
However, it seems that in recent years there are few fathers left to treat the immense monastic complex. This is the reason that has pushed many associations to take action to safeguard this precious monastery.
Finally, the Ministry has recently decided to entrust the management of the Certosa to the “Dignitatis Humanae Institute”, to prevent it from ending up completely abandoned.
What to see at the Certosa of Trisulti
The entrance of the Certosa welcomes visitors with a large portal, dominated by a bust of San Bartolomeo, protector of the Carthusians. Beyond the threshold there is a magnificent square, on whose sides are the old Innocent III guest house, with its Romanesque-Gothic style that shines through the beautiful portico and terrace, and the extraordinary library that houses over 36,000 volumes.
At the center of the Certosa stands the Church of San Bartolomeo, which is affected by many architectural interventions over the centuries: on the Gothic structure, in fact, you can admire baroque decorations and the influence of many other more recent styles.
But it is the inside of the church that contains real wonders: many painting works completely cover the walls of the church, like the painting on the slaughter of the innocents, while two wooden choirs dominate the interior. The vault is frescoed with paintings representing the Glory of Paradise, dating back to the end of the 1600s.
Another of the most interesting buildings to visit is that of the pharmacy, where even today are kept ampoules and bottles containing medical herbs, which the fathers used to collect in the nearby forests: to get there you need to walk an avenue surrounded by decorative hedges representing animals and mythological figures. Inside the pharmacy there are painting decorations by the painter Filippo Balbi, while the eighteenth-century furniture shows off shelves and beech shelves.
What to see in the surroundings of the Certosa of Trisulti
Taking advantage of the position of the Certosa, it is possible to get longer and visit the nearby village of Collepardo or that of Vico nel Lazio, both characteristic villages that pass on the culture and traditions of ciociaria.
Among the other places to visit in the area there are Guarcino, home of the amaretti, and Alatri, known and mysterious city of art.
For lovers of nature and scenic walks, from the Certosa branches off to Mountain La Monna and Monte Rotonaria, while from Prato di Campoli you can leave for excursions to the peaks of the Erici mountains.