Looking back at 2020!

Though many of our regular activities were compromised due to the Covid lockdowns and regulations, the association was still able to bring members together, online and in person, throughout the year. Below is a small selection of photos to mark 2020!

Pub quiz winners at the Porta Pia pub: February 2020
The book club and film club met regularly on Zoom. This is a selection of the books and films discussed in 2020

Once lockdown was eased, members met for an aperitivo on the terrace of the Hotel Locarno: June 2020

Notwithstanding the terrible rain, members had a tour of the Abbey of the Three Fountains: October 2020

Before lockdown restrictions came into force again, members met for an aperitivo in the Hotel Ripetta garden: October 2020

Remembrance Day was a solitary event this year with only one committee member attending the ceremony: November 2020

With Brexit approaching, members were given a presentation and Q&A session with the IOM & British Embassy: November 2020
To close the year in our traditional jolly fashion, we held a Zoom Carol Singing event: December 2020

Abbey of the Three Fountains

The Abbey of the Three Fountains, located off the busy Via Laurentina in south east Rome, is where association members met on a rainy Saturday morning. Greeted by their guide Silvia and a larger than life statue of Saint Benedict, hushing visitors as they enter the abbey to ora et labora.

The monastery is the site of three churches, the church of St. Paul, the church of Santa Maria Scala Coeli and the church of Saints Vincent and Anastasius. The site is best known for the martyrdom of St. Paul the Apostle who was imprisoned and eventually beheaded on these grounds. Tradition says that his severed head fell and bounced three times and on each bounce, a fountain of water sprang. 

We visited the Church of SS Vincent and Anastasius, an unadorned church echoing the simplicity of the site, built by Pope Honorius I in 626 and given to the Benedictines who occupied the site at that time. 

At the end of a pathway used for meditation, lies the Church of St. Paul, built on the spot where the apostle was beheaded. St. Paul’s is a small unconventional chapel with the alter situated on the left. A tribute to the three fountains occupies the back wall whilst the centre nave displays a beautiful Roman mosaic donated by Pope Piux IX, said to have been brought here from the port of Ostia. 

Today the abbey is occupied by the monks of the Cistercian order, more commonly known as the Trappists. Famous for their lambswool which is used to make the vestments of new archbishops. They also make and sell homemade beer, chocolate and other produce from the eucalyptus trees surrounding the site. Our tour terminated with a visit to the shop where members were able to purchase some of the local delicacies. Thank you Silvia, for a lovely morning!