Astino Abbey was founded around 1070 by a group of members of the Vallumbrosan Order led by John Gualbert during a time in which, through reforms, clerics were trying to revive the Catholic Church's position.
The Romanesque church and the first conventual buildings were built by Bertario, the first abbot, who supervised the abbey for 21 years until 1128.
The monastery was suppressed on 4 July 1797 by the ciil aurhorities of Bergamo. Its assets were given to the nearby hospital, founded and previously run by the monks.
In 1832 the site was put to use as a psychiatric hospital, which it remained until 1892. It was then used for agricultural purposes, and was sold to private buyers in 1923.
In 1973 the property was acquired by a private company for conversion into a golfing centre, but the plan ran into so much opposition that it never came to fruition, and the monastery buildings have been left neglected until 2015.
The Church of Santo Sepulchro was consecrated in 1117, but has been rebuilt over the centuries. The base of the bell-tower dates to the 12th-century, but now has a baroque superstructure atop. The building includes a cloister of the 15th century and a chapel to the memory of Blessed Guallo de Roniis, exiled bishop of Brescia.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.