Just on the outskirts of the beautiful Umbrian town of Orvieto, nestled in a patchwork of forest and olive groves, lies a historic gem of an abbey called simply, La Badia.
Originally built in the 6th century (the 6th century!) with a massive upgrade and restoration in the 12th century, the abbey was acquired by a noble family in the 17th century and left to deteriorate over the next 300 years.
In the 1960s the property was bought by a wealthy Roman family who painstakingly restored the structure and turned it into an elegant hotel with a top-notch restaurant – where my friend, Elizabeth, and I just happened to have lunch yesterday. 🙂 (Elizabeth St. Hilaire is a renowned collage artist, and I’m hosting a retreat for her this week!)
After lunch (the creamy ricotta with truffle sauce was amazing!), we entered the 12th century church to view its exquisite mosaic floor and 13th century frescoes. We sat on the floor to examine the geometric patterns of stone – cut by hand so many centuries ago – and enjoyed the silence of the ancient space. Not another soul around.
Moving. Amazing. Inspiring. And this is why I love, love, love getting off the beaten strada.
Learn more about La Badia “Island of Stone in a Sea of Green”.