The Tre Fontane Abbey is the only Trappist abbey in italy.
At the end of the 11th century, Pope Gregory VII gave an abbey in the region of Rome, and its possessions, to the Cluniacs. However, a few decades later, in 1140, the monastery was assigned to the Cistercians at the urging of Pope Innocent II.
This is how Saint Bernard of Clairvaux sent a colony of his monks to Rome.
This colony was established in an abandoned monastery in the Roman countryside, at a place called Eaux Salviennes (Aquae Salviae - which was the association of the presence of sources with the name of the family who owned the site toward the end of the Roman period), and known today as Saint Paul with Three Fountains.
The valley was likely where Saint Paul was beheaded, on June 29 of the year 67. A legend emerged that Paul's severed head rebounded three times, each impact yielding a source of water.
At least since the middle of the 7th century, there is evidence of a Greek-Armenian rite monastery, to which the Emperor Heraclius had sent as an offering a precious relic, the head of the Persian martyr Anastasius. It was at this time that the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary was founded, now Santa Maria Scala Coeli.
After a fire at the end of the 8th century, the monastery and the church were restored. In the Middle Ages, the importance of the abbey was attested by its possessions, such as the lands of the Maremma monastery, thanks to a donation from Charlemagne. Soon after, the abbey church was built and the monastery acquired its present structure.
Its first Cistercian abbot was Pope Eugene III, another indication of the power acquired by the abbey.
In the centuries that followed, 5 dependent monasteries were founded in Nemi, Ponza and Sardinia. The abbey was enlarged and in 1370 the relics of Saint Vincent of Saragossa were transferred there.
In 1808, during the French invasion, the abbey was pillaged. As the place was infested with malaria, the structure was abandoned.
Destroyers of the abbey, the French were also at the origin of its resurrection, in particular thanks to a donation from the Count of Moumilly in 1868. It was entrusted to the Trappist monks by Pius IX.
(source: https://www.rome-roma.net )
The Abbey of Tre Fontane currently offers several beers including Tre Fontane Tripel and Scala Coeli. The Tripel was launched in 2015 and Scala Coeli has been marketed since October 2018.
The hexagonal label “Authentic Trappist Product” attests that this beer is entirely produced in compliance with the rigorous rules decreed by the International Trappist Association to which the Abbey of Tre Fontane has belonged since 2014. This beer is produced in the monastery itself, under supervision of monks,
The profits generated by this activity are used exclusively for charitable works and the needs of the monastic community, as well as for keeping the historical heritage that represents the whole of the abbey domain including, of course, the AD 67 martyrdom of the Apostle Paul.
The Tripel is characterized by its scent of eucalyptus, a tree that the monks have cultivated on the spot for 150 years. The other beer, Scala Coeli, is likewise linked to the ancient abbey estate. To produce it, bitter orange peels from trees are used which, since time immemorial, have embellished the cloister and the gardens of the monastery.
Scala Coeli is a high fermentation beer and its alcohol level is 6.7% by volume. It is characterized by a pleasant fruity bouquet which is underlined by hops used according to the “dry hopping” technique. With wisdom and balance, bitter orange accompanies the choice of hops and gives roundness and body to this beer, the tasting of which concludes with a note that can be bitter yet very pleasant.
(source: https://www.trappist.be )
Abbey: the rebirth of the "Three Fountains"
The Trappist Fathers sent by Pius IX in 1868 found an abbey house half in ruins; the basilica buried at the height of more than a meter in a muddy silt; the valley changed into a marsh; all around a gloomy solitude, abandonment, apart from a few herds venturing into the valleys.
The Fathers set to work. Beginning by clearing the church and the buildings, they then drained the ground to remove the stagnant water.
Then they planted pines and eucalyptus, supplied by brethren in Australia, which took a vigorous push. Malaria claimed many victims among the religious during the thirty years over which the work spread out. Over time, the Fathers formed an agricultural company and acquired the domain which they extended by successive acquisitions to today approach 500 hectares.
Brother Orsise wondered if he might extract a liquor from the Eucalyptus. He became a distiller and experience showed him that he had thought correctly: the Eucalyptus liqueur from Trois Fontaines is today estimated to be equal to the liqueurs produced by other famous abbeys. Many years later, the monks decided to profit from their Eucalyptus plantations by using it to flavor a beer of their own making.