Abbazia del Pero Porcellato – Zorzi

Municipality:Monastier di Treviso
Region: Veneto

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The Abbey of S. Maria del Pero Porcellato – Zorzi, built in the 10th century, is the oldest part of the former Benedictine monastery located in Monastier di Treviso, the village to which this abbey complex gave its name.

It includes the Romanesque Cloister with a Venetian-style well and frescoed Refectory and Library from the 15th-century. The Monks' Apartments and the wine-producing Cellar, dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, are also part of the abbey.

The Abbey stretches along the course of the Meolo River and has a 2-hectare garden known as the "Brolo", enclosed by 17th-century walls and formerly exclusively used by the Benedictine monks as a vegetable garden, an orchard and a ‘giardino di delizia’ or ‘garden of delights’, a place designed to offer visitors an opportunity for leisurely walks and social gatherings while appreciating art and nature.

Outside, the remains of the ancient parish church and the Romanesque bell tower are visible, from the top of which you can catch a glimpse of Treviso, Venice, the Pre-Alps and the Dolomites.

Patrizio Porcellato and Santina Zorzi opened this historical residence to the public in 1997 for guided tours, private events, art and local history exhibitions, theatre performances and chamber music and jazz concerts.

The history of Abbazia del Pero Porcellato-Zorzi

The Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria del Pero in Monastier di Treviso was founded in 958 thanks to a land donation from Emperor Otto I of the Holy Roman Empire to Popone, the Patriarch of Aquileia (who was responsible for the enlargement of the Basilica of Aquileia).

The monastery was built along the Meolo River, formerly called the ‘Pero’, on the opposite bank of the trading warehouses that were already present in 880, as the waterway flowed near the salt pans of the Venetian Lagoon, and the proximity of the monastery to the Via Claudia Augusta facilitated flourishing commercial exchanges with the Alps and regions further afield in Germany.

After centuries of monastic life and the autonomous management of properties between the Piave and Vallio rivers as far as the Venetian Lagoon, the Abbey of Pero became part of the Cassinese Congregation of San Giustina in Padua in 1480 and was placed under the administration of the Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice.

The abbot of the Venetian monastery thus held dual titles and authority over the Abbey until 1806, the year of the Napoleonic Suppression, which marked the end of the cloistered life of the Benedictines after eight continuous centuries.

During World War I, the Abbey was but a short distance from the front line on the Piave River, and dormitories and warehouses were set up there for the Italian troops. This period is recounted by the inscriptions and drawings left on the walls by soldiers and numerous photographs taken during those months, which also document the damages suffered by the church in June 1918.

It was here that Ernest Hemingway found inspiration for his novels "A Farewell to Arms" and "Across the River and Into the Trees". Having enlisted as a volunteer for the Red Cross in 1917, he duly left from the Abbey of Monastier one day to distribute essential supplies to Italian soldiers on the front line. Venturing too far ahead, he was wounded at Fossalta di Piave in Veneto and was relocated to a hospital for treatment, but that experience went on to serve as material for his future novels, and later earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature.

In 1964, the halls and cloister of the Abbey of Pero were used as a film set for the movie "Il Mostro di Venezia" (named ‘The Embalmer’ in English) directed by Dino Tavella, a joint Italian-American production that utilized the interior spaces to shoot the most significant scenes of this horror film, where the killer kidnaps his beautiful victims on the islands around Venice and hides them in a mysterious monastery submerged beneath the waters of the Lagoon.

Since 1997, the Abbey has been the home of the Porcellato - Zorzi family, who live there and oversee its restoration and promotion, opening it up to the public for special events.

Weddings and private events

The Abbey of Pero Porcellato – Zorzi hosts private events for up to 150 people seated in the frescoed Refectory or outdoors in the Romanesque Cloister and gardens.

The indoor spaces are equipped with air conditioning and restrooms (including facilities for people with reduced mobility), with the possibility of using light projection and installing lighting effects.

As there are a number of spaces available, it is possible to vary the planning accordingly, enabling guests to discover new and different parts of the Abbey or gardens, even in variable or rainy weather.

 

Conferences, meetings and photo shoots

The Refectory and the outdoor spaces can accommodate up to 200 guests for conventions, meetings and corporate workshops, with the option of setting up exhibition spaces and social gatherings to offer your employees and customers a business experience that is quite out of the ordinary, while being fully immersed in nature in the peace and quiet of this thousand-year-old site.

Exhibitions, theatrical performances and concerts

Since 1997, the Abbey has hosted numerous public events, including art and photography exhibitions, theatre performances, and chamber music and jazz concerts.

For future programming and events, please follow us on our Facebook and Instagram social media pages.

Guided tours

Guided tours can be booked for groups or individuals, adults or school groups, with the possibility of enjoying a snack or picnic in the garden or in the cellars in the event of intemperate weather.

The visit lasts approximately 1.5 hours and can be tailored to the group's specific interests, covering topics such as medieval life and history, World War I, or architecture and materials.

The visit to the Abbey of Pero can be followed by a wine tasting and local ‘zero-kilometre’ cuisine with local products.

Guided tours are conducted in Italian or English. Openings possible throughout the year.

For information on availability and ticket costs, please contact us in the ‘Our Contact Details’ section below.

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