The Abbey of San Donnino in Soglio, in the Middle Ages was one of the oldest and most powerful Benedictine Abbeys of Romagna Tuscany and became the economic, cultural and spiritual center of the Apennines thanks to the links and proximity to the castles of Montecerro and Orsarola, the Abbey of San Benedetto in Alpe and the hermitage of Camaldoli.
The Monastery was governed by Benedictine monks until the Council of Trent in 1563, when the complex was transformed first into a Commenda and then into a Parish.
In 1700 the building was rebuilt to a single nave and in a position further back than the former abbey building of medieval times still present and from which you can access the cloister of the convent.
In the facade, above the door, there are some Istrian stone sculptures, symbols of the Romanesque period, coming from the primitive Abbey and reused to build the current Church.
The sculpture on the left represents Saint Peter holding in his right hand the pastoral and in the other the keys of Paradise; in the center there is the Lamb with the cross (Christ); on the right a monk with a smoking censer. Under the inscription “Hoc Opus Fecit Dominus Petrus Abas” there are three of the four evangelists (the lion of San Marco, the calf of San Luca and the angelic man of San Matteo; the eagle of San Giovanni is missing).
Inside the Abbey – currently open in summer thanks to Mrs Rita who takes care of the place – you can admire what remains of the fresco “Episodes of the life of San Donnino” of the late fourteenth century, work in late Gothic style, that stylistically recalls the school of Rimini and the contemporary Bologna.
The Abbey can be visited internally every day from the end of May until the beginning of September. For visits in the other periods of the year contact the Parish of Rocca San Casciano. Tel. 0543.960203
Text author: Avv. Elisa Rabiti