Cloister – Photos © silvano.squizzato
Founded on the 5th of May 1142 by the monks of the Monastery of Chiaravalle della Colomba upon the wish of Bishop Lanfranco of Parma and the Marquis Delfino Pallavicino,
The Cistercian Abbey held ecclesiastic jurisdiction over of around 8,500 Parmesan biolche (around 2,800 hectares).
The Cistercians remained in Fontevivo until 1546, when the Abbey passed to the Benedictines.
The church, which still preserves its original Romanesque aspect today, has a Latin cross plan. Inside, the austere stone allows itself to be softened only by measured passages of light. It stays in the mind thanks to the delicacy of the lines of the “Madonna with Child” attributed to Antelami.
The monastery, which subsequently passed to the Farnese family, and then from Duchess Marie Louise to the Collegium Nobilium, frequented by nobles from all over Europe, was partially restored recently, and today offers visitors the chance to sleep and dine there.
Also worth a visit in the historical centre of Fontevivo (200 metres from the Abbey) is the convent church of the Capuchins, built upon the wish of Ranuccio Farnese at the beginning of the XVII century, apparently after the plans of Smeraldo Smeraldi.
Along the Via Emilia, it is possible to visit the Romanesque parish church (1230) in Castelguelfo, originally a chapel of the Fortress of Castelguelfo.
NOTE: The Abbey is open as an hotel.
LOCALITY: Commune of Fontevivo, to 11 Km from Parma
OPENING PERIOD: yearly opening
OPENING HOURS: from 7.30am to 12.00am and from 2.30pm to 6.30pm
Courtesy of www.castellidelducato.it