elisabetta riccio - from the clausus project, painting of the 600


it comes from Latin and means close.

Everyday life inside a cloistered monastery takes place in silence and the life of those who live inside is marked by the unique noises of the bells and by the prayers that give the day a constant rhythm that repeats itself the same every day.

Day after day this rhythm gives a relative perception of space-time, where the only noises – those of the wind, the chirping of birds, the chirping of cicadas and the same sound of silence – make one take distance from external reality and become a company that talks with you. Nature replaces consumerism, silence fills the void of technology, solitude clears away the frenzy of our society.

elisabetta riccio - from the clausus project, a nun while working walks at sunset and brings food to the animals
elisabetta riccio - from the clausus project, a nun in front of a 17th century painting

The monastery shown in the photographs is the Monastery of the Visitazione SM in Revigliasco with papal cloister.

After the French revolution the monastery was expropriated and the nuns were driven out, but in 1824 the Duke Carlo Felice gave the monasteries the opportunity to re-exist.

In 1902 the nuns were finally able to have their monastery back; the first site was in Corso Francia where they worked the land, they had cows, hens and rabbits and then moved in 1970 to the Moncalieri hill, in a more peaceful and healthy place: the current SM Visitation Monastery in Revigliasco.

At the beginning the nuns were around 40, which explains the size of the Monastery.

They had dedicated a part of it for the regional novitiate which, however, has always remained empty.


elisabetta riccio - from the clausus project, a nun while feeding the hens

After a few years almost all died and Mother Chiara was transferred from Pinerolo to revive the monastery. Some nuns came from different continents, first from Guadalajara and 3 more nuns were sent from Africa for help.

Today the number of nuns are 12.

The nuns of this monastery obey the Holy Father and stick to the cloistered rules that the church has established. Unlike the other monasteries with sacred congregation, an exception has been granted to them, namely that young and old people are allowed to have a prayer experience with them. The community is open to welcoming groups or individuals in the guesthouse who want a strong experience of prayer and silence, both by participating in the prayer of the nuns and by using their own personal program.

Cloistered monastery means that they never go out except for extreme necessity, for health or to move to another monastery.

In fact, in the parlor there is a grate that reminds them that they must give a testimony of God by avoiding frivolous and light conversations. Silence and prayer are the basis of their days for a fraternal life.