A story of rebirths

Dedicated to Saint Urbano, patron of Apiro, the St. Urbano all’Esinante Benedictine Abbey is recorded for the first time in 1033 in a document related to an agreement between its Abbot and the one of San Vittore alle Chiuse. Its origin dates back to some decades before 1000. At that time, its hegemony extended along the San Clemente valley and its power was increasing not only from a religious but also from a civil point of view. This caused continuous fights with the neighbor town of Apiro, culminating, sometime around the XIII century, in a devastating fire that destroyed part of the church.

In the second half of XIII century the monastery was renovated and became a resting base for pilgrims.

With a Papal Decree in 1442, joined the Val di Castro Abbey and was run by Camaldolesi monks until 1810, when, with the French dominion, the property was transferred to the state. Later it was sold to a private local family of landlords and transformed in a farm. In 1978, the family having no heirs, was donated to the Apiro municipality, the actual owner.

Extraordinary example of Romanic architecture, its external shape shows the three amazing apsis, corresponding to the three naves.

Inside the church is one of the few still keeping the three different parts of the Romanic architecture: the aula, dedicated to people, the presbytery, much higher and in gothic style, reserved for the monks, almost a church inside the church, and finally the crypt accessible through a narrow stair. 

abbazia di sant'urbano

On the first light of the 25th of May, day of patron Saint Urbano, a lighting ray entering by a hole above the apsis, shines through the darkness and perfectly enlighten a circle engraved in the stone of the wall on the left side of the entrance.