Eremo di San Girolamo

The hermitage of San Girolamo is situated on the eastern side of Mount Cucco and is accessible along the scenic road that connects Scheggia with Sassoferrato, crossing the Corno Gorge.
The hermitage appears at the end of an ascending road, gainst a backdrop of a beautiful natural landscape with a steep rock face. The primitive Church, dating back the 11th century, is formed of three large stone constructions with vaulted ceilings and a high central tower; the internal elements and windows, made of stone, clearly reveal the Romanesque style.
Small caves at the base of the steep wall were the old cells. A narrow path connects the monastery, built around the fourteenth century on a spur overlooking the valley of the Rio Freddo. Tradition says that St. Jerome took refuge here around the year 1000, to escape persecution. San Domenico Loricato probably retired here in prayer, until his death in 1060. At the end of the thirteenth century it was chosen as a retreat by Blessed Thomas of Costacciaro, who lived in solitude, perhaps for more than 40 years. In 1521 this was officially designated as a hermitage, thanks to the work of the Blessed Paolo Giustiniani with the permission of Leo X. It grew to become one of the first monasteries of the Camaldolese Congregation of Monte Corona. From then until the early nineteenth century, it was an important cultural center, with a pharmacy, garden and library, and then began to decay slowly until its final closure in 1925 by order of Pope Pius XI.  The state of neglect persisted until 1981, when restoration work began. In 1992 the hermitage was reopened by the Camaldolesi hermits.
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