The “Monastery of St. Benedict” was erected on the Holy Cave, the cave where the Saint spent his first year of monastic life in penance and contemplation (VI century). The monastery is a large complex of buildings encircling the cloister: the church and the Lower Monastery were built at the end of the 13th century; the Superior Church was built in the 14th mid-century. The “Sacro Speco” and the nearby Monastery of S. Scholastica are also a very important religious-artistic complex, set in an environment of great natural value (it is the territory of the Regional Park of Simbruini Mountains). The monastery is erected close to a huge rock wall and is supported by nine high-ogival arches. The interior is a labyrinth of rooms, churches, chapels, sometimes built on the rock, decorated with precious frescoes of different ages, from the early Byzantine works (VIII century) to the precious painting of St. Francis (1223), which is the first faithful representation ever made of the Saint and depicted three years before his death, also to the paintings of Magister Consolus (second half of the 13th century) and to the remarkable frescoes by Tuscan-Umbrian masters of the upper church (XIV and XV).