The Abbey of Valvisciolo is situated in the territory of Sermoneta (Province of Latina in central Italy), at the foot of Mount Corvino. The history of this monastery is complex and the name also conceals part of a mystery. Valvisciolo might mean Valley of the Nightingale (vallis lusciniae) or Valley of the Wild Cherries. It is confirmed that the name originally referred to another Cistercian monastery near Carpineto Romano, of which only a few ruins remain. In the early XIV century the Carpineto monks left their mountains and moved to the new monastery which they called Valvisciolo.
The church is quite simple, having three naves with five spans each, and no transept. The apse is rectangular, with thick, rather low pilasters supporting open arches. The cloister, which we enter from the right nave, is a regular square and was originally covered by a light roof, later replaced by smooth cross-vaults. Its round arches are supported by small columns with capitals that frame the internal garden laid out around the central cistern. Like all Cistercian abbeys, the various sections of the monastery were laid out around the cloister: the church, the refectory, the dormitory, the scriptorium and the kitchens. The refectory, parallel to the cloister, has just one nave.
The side entrance to the cloister leads to the restored Dispensarium of the Abbey, housing the Gallery opened in 2003 and dedicated to Abbot Stanislaus White (1838-1911), the generous Irish monk who did so much for the Abbey of Valvisciolo, which he directed from the end of the 19th to the early 20th century. The Gallery originated from the donation by Domenico Guidi of 41 works, almost all original engravings and drawings dating from the early 16th to the 19th century.
(source: Visit Lazio)