Abbey of San Clemente at Casauria
Among the most beautiful medieval monuments in Abruzzo, the Benedictine Abbey of San Clemente at Casauria was built along the ancient route of the Via Claudio-Valeria. According to the Chronicon Casauriensis; manuscript compiled around the second half of the 12th century by the monk Giovanni di Berardo, commissioned by the Abbot Leonate, the foundation dates back to September 871. The choice of the site, close to the Pescara river, between the Duchy of Spoleto in the north and the Duchy of Benevento to the south, in a position favorable to the control of an area that will be subjected to the fortification process starting from the second half of the 10th century, it is linked to strategic and politico-military issues. The chronicle, in addition to the description of the place, reports the main events experienced by the monastery: the initial dedication to the SS. Trinity; the subsequent translation of the relics of San Clemente from Rome granted by Pope Adrian II; the Saracen invasions occurred between 915 and 920; the passage under pontifical jurisdiction; the advent of the Normans and the restoration works of the complex between the 11th and 12th centuries commissioned by the Benedictine abbots Grimoaldo and Leonate. This succession of events highlights the "political" importance assumed by the Abbey of San Clemente a Casauria, comparable to that of other well-known monastic centers in central Italy, such as Montecassino, San Vincenzo al Volturno, Farfa, Subiaco. The facade of the church is preceded by a portico with three arches supported by columns with decorated capitals.