Off the Beaten Path–Central Italy

Cassino Italy may not be a regular stop-over destination for travelers hitting the highlights of Italy, when the most popular destinations of Roma, Firenze, Venezia and Milano are the first to come to mind.  I recommend Cassino as a 1/2 day diversion from the other popular sites because of the slice of life of central Italy it offers.

If you are a World War 2 aficionado, you may be familiar with the battle of Monte Cassino as a strategic battle point in Italy.  The Monastery which overlooks the valley below can be seen by most vantage points in the city.  A minimal fee for access or a tour through its museum is well worth it.  The drive up the mountain is worth the view in and of itself.

This is a regular destination for my family because my husband’s family originated from there and several aunts,uncles, cousins and family friends remain there.  It is a mere 90 minute drive from Rome or two hours by train.  Fair warning to train travelers:  there are no first class options so when traveling in the summer, fresh air will be your air condition.

Expansive gardens of vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees abound.   Many residents in the more suburban areas still press their own olive oil from family orchards and the majority continue to process their grapes for their own delicious table red wine.  Its hardly difficult to eat well here but also eat healthy as well.

The slower pace of life is evident  as compared to the bustle of the larger cities.  Keeping a schedule is just a suggestion and appropriate to delay if it in some way cuts short a social conversation over a gelato or cappuccino or glass of wine.








To give you a sense of this mindset, my sister-in-law relayed a story about the ‘BoFrost Man’ she observed while on an extended stay in Cassino several years ago.  Italians are slowly converting over to the concept of frozen, ready made meals and there was a frozen food service that started that would travel to the neighborhoods selling frozen pasta and other items.  Because of the social nature of Italians, the driver was often invited in for espresso and biscotti which often extended 1/2 hour or more that he never seemed to finish his route.

If you find yourself off the beaten path. and want to relax…..Cassino Italy a recommended spot.




15 thoughts on “Off the Beaten Path–Central Italy

  1. Great blog, Lynn. When I was in Italy, our tour guide pointed out the monastery during our travels and told us about the WWII impacts. I had no idea of your family’s connection to Monte Cassino. Knowing this turns a tour-guide-history-lesson into something to remember. Thanks.

  2. The view of the food catch my eye! Does not get any better than that and the thought of the couple drinking the coffee brings even more delight to the mind. Great site, related material to spark my interest. It almost appears as it I have seen these folks before?

  3. Italy is on my list of ‘places to visit’ and I am going to add Cassino to my list when there. It is easy to miss out on the smaller, off-the-beaten path places. Seeing the non-tourist areas and finding gems like Cassino make trips unforgettable. Thank you for sharing your adventure.

  4. Thank you for the beautiful photos of Cassino, my father’s home town. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there. Lynn, you’ve made it tempting for me to want to visit Cassino again. In spite of the Monastery being destroyed during World War II, I am thankful for all the work that has been put into recreating it. I remember the beauty of the Monastery was out of this world! Thank you for the opportunity to revisit Cassino.

  5. Cassino sounds like a wonderful place to visit! I went to Rome about 10 years ago with some girlfriends and we had a great time taking in the sites. The city offered so much to see and all of the Italians were so nice and accommodating. But I now have a much great appreciation for World War II and have read a few books, so going to Europe would be a totally different experience for me. I would love to see these smaller towns and really appreciate a deeper look into the Italian culture. Thanks so much for the suggestion!!

  6. What a great reminder that there are some beautiful cities to explore over and above the ones touted in the travel brochures. It always seems to be these “other” excursions that become the most interesting ones in our travels. Thanks for sharing – makes me want to go and enjoy Cassino right now.

  7. Great Blog Lynn! It took me back to the recent trip Christine and I took to Italy. Look forward to more submissions

  8. Beautiful town! While I never have been to Monte Cassino, I have enjoyed dancing and visiting with great friends in one of the neighborhood courtyards back in 1991.

  9. Kudos to Cassino. Great town in a beautiful country. My mouth is watering thinking of the gelato at the Green Garden right now…..

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