Cassino: handpicked hotels and insider tips
The town of Cassino, in the province of Frosinone, is home to one of Italy's most visited monuments: the Abbey of Montecassino. Result of the transformation of a pagan temple in Monastery dedicated to Saint Martin, the construction of the abbey was completed in 529 and supervised by Benedetto da Norcia, who composed his Benedictine order here, best summarised in the Latin "Ora et labora" (pray and work).
Over the centuries, the appearance of the Abbey has been altered on various occasions, the last major intervention being made following the world war II bombing of 1944, which almost completely destroyed the town of Cassino and brought its most important house of worship crashing to the ground. The reconstruction of the abbey "as it was, where it was", became a symbol of Italy's feisty post-war spirit. The museum and library situated within the abbey are both more than worthy of visit.
The Abbey is not the only edifice of historic and artistic interest in Cassino. Whilst in the town, the tourist should be certain to visit the Roman amphitheatre, the Ummidia Quadratilla mausoleum, and the Roman theatre dating back to the reign of the great emperor Augustus, a playhouse which still serves as unique stage for all kinds of performances.
The Romans were also responsible for Cassino's Varroniane baths, built so as to exploit the therapeutic qualities of the spring water surfacing in the vicinity of the Villa of Marco Terrenzio Varrone. Today, the way of life in Cassino has been much changed by the opening of the town's University and the subsequent influx of thousands of young students.