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Courtyard, Monastery of San Lorenzo by Jesse Andrews

Chapel, Monastery of San Lorenzo by Jesse Andrews

Cloisters, Monastery of San Lorenzo by Jesse Andrews

All Photos on VisitsItaly are by Jesse Andrews. Please Contact VisitsItaly.Com for reproduction of any kind at:

Welcome to Padula
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 5,403 (2001)
Official website:

The Monastery of San Lorenzo

On the plain just below the town of Padula is the magnificent “Certosa di San Lorenzo" (open daily, Apr-Oct 09:00-19:00, Nov-Mar 09:00-16:30). 

San Lorenzo was founded in 1306 by Tommaso Sanseverino, who paid for and erected the Carthusian monastery on his own land.  The decision to found a monastery for a French order is likely to have been made for political reasons, as Tommaso was close to the Angevin kings of Naples and the valleys, situated between the capital and the remote province of Calabria, was of considerable strategic importance. Through the feudal organization of its land, the Certosa maintained a strong influence over the entire area.  The monastery retained its importance until its suppression in 1816.

The plan of san Lorenzo follows the standard pattern of a Carthusian monastery, in keeping with the order’s religious and administrative organisation.  A long wall, once acting as an enceinte, encloses the complex. 

The arrangement of the building within is determined by the rigorous division between “lower” and “upper” houses-or in lay terms, between communal and secluded activity.  The main gate opens onto the outer courtyard, which gave access to the stables, storage rooms, granaries, pharmacy and living quarters of the lay brothers. 

The second entrance, the principal one in architectural terms, leads into the monastery itself, where visitors were only rarely admitted.  One eminent visitor was Charles V, who stayed here in 1535, while on his way from Naples to Reggio Calabria.  For the occasion the monks are said to have prepared the emperor and his train an omelette made with 1000 eggs.




Staying in Padula



By Car:
Padula can be reached by following the A3 Salerno-Reggio Calabria.  Exit at Padula, just after Sala Consalina..

By train:
No trains go to Padula, therefore auto-transportation is required in order to arrive here.




Gate to communal garden, Monastery of San Lorenzo by Jesse Andrews



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