The Abbey Of S Giovanni In Venere
The Abbey of S. Giovanni in Venere stands on the outskirts of the town of Fossacesia, on a promontory from which the surrounding cultivated fields and a vast stretch of sea, known as the Costa dei Trabocchi, are dominated. The attribute "in Venus" could derive from the presence of a Roman temple dedicated, in fact, to the goddess Venus, of which, however, no architectural remains remain, but only the survival of the toponym Venus. Between the 8th and 10th centuries the presence of a simple monastic cell is attested, while the birth of the actual abbey takes place in 1015 and is attributed to Trasmondo II, Count of Teate (Chieti), whose body is buried in the crypt of the church abbey. The current appearance is the result of the transformations made between 1165 and 1204 by Abbot Odorisio II and subsequent ones, carried out between 1225 and 1230 by Abbot Rainaldo. Currently the abbey hosts a community of Passionist Fathers. Outside the visitor can observe the solid structure of the church, built with sandstone blocks in the lower part and bricks in the upper one, and stop to observe the beautiful main portal, called Porta della Luna, so called because, during the solstice of summer, it is reached by the light of the setting sun that illuminates the presbytery and the crypt.