The old Romanesque church of Romena has remained standing for almost a thousand years in Casentino. In this valley of deep spirituality between La Verna and Camaldoli, the town of Romena has always served as a sort of crossroads for pilgrims. Today, it’s home to the Fraternity that welcomes modern day travellers, a tradition it has kept up for almost thirty years. It has become a place of mystical meditation, of prayer and of research. It’s a meeting place and a starting point for all those who seek answers and want to find themselves as they follow the path of the Gospel.
The Church of Romena is beautiful and charming. It’s set within the dreamy, lush landscape of the Tuscan countryside. It almost seems like it was placed there by a divine hand. Everything from its stones, its trees and its surrounding meadows creates a picture-perfect postcard. But the true wonders of the Church are actually found on the inside with its bare serena stone and capitals. Each capital is different from the next with motifs that create a deeply medieval atmosphere, with angels, ferocious animals – both real and mythological – flowers and leaves and even biblical stories. All of these represent a past where the Sacred and the Profane continuously intertwined.
This solemn, bare church was built upon the ruins of ancient Etruscan and Roman temples.
The intense silence of this place will impress you from the moment you enter and it invites you to meditate. The light that filters through the mullioned windows of the apse invites you to look up and admire every detail of this solid, rough church, built entirely with sandstone from this valley.
Surrounded by peace and simplicity,Dante took refuge here during his exile. Gabriele D’Annunzio also wrote the poems for his collection called “Alcyone” here. Every stone here looks after and reveals the stories of the past. Below these vaults, pilgrims, families, friends and couples gather even today. This ark of silence is more than just a place of community, it’s an authentic house of spirituality and brotherhood.