Wednesday, September 10, 2008
My Italian Villa
This will be my "home" for the next week or so. The Hotel Oasi has a fascinating history.
Hotel OASI was founded in 1225, thanks to a generous "Cortonese" Agnolo Ranieri (man who lived in Cortona). He built the house and gave it the Damianite nuns (today called Clarisse), who lived there till 1237.In 1290 the countesses Bandinucci dei Conti di Cegliolo and Giasconi di Montemaggio entrusted the monastery to Benedictine sisters. From this period derives the name "Le Contesse" (the Countesses) by which it is still known today.In 1945 the Bishop Petrella joined Le Contesse with the monastery of Santa Caterina greatly increasing the number of sisters who lived there.
At the beginning of the 18th century the church was renovated and enlarged following the design of Architect Jannelli. The church was consecrated by the Bishop Puccini and dedicated to Mother Mary.On 20th May 1782 according to an order of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo the convent Le Contesse was closed, although was still flourishing. This was a considerable blow to the noble families of the area, many of whom had daughters there. Some saw it as an attempt to weaken their power.
In the second half of the 19th century grounds and buildings were bought by the monastery of the Holy Trinity who rented to laymen, who used it as a farm for silk-worms breeding. The devastation ended in 1891 when the Redemptorists bought the church and grounds and with the help of Architect Mirri, began the revival of the monastery.From 1891 till 1966 the building was used as seminary. During both world-wars Le Contesse was very useful to the Fatherland: in those tragic moments it became a military hospital.From 1967 owing to the decrease of vocations the seminary moved to RomeIn 1973 under the guidance of Father Tommaso Natalizia put the basis for the birth of Hotel OASI.