HomeDa San Genuario all'Europa. Monasteri e acqua, monasteri in terre d'Acqua

HomeDa San Genuario all'Europa. Monasteri e acqua, monasteri in terre d'Acqua

Da San Genuario all'Europa. Monasteri e acqua, monasteri in terre d'Acqua

From San Genuario to Europe : monasteries and water, monasteries in wetlands

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Published on Tuesday, May 16, 2023


The conference will examine the central role of water in the life of cenobitic centres, through general overviews across vast areas of the Continent and individual case studies, in a discourse on the longue durée, which, from the most ancient Early Medieval experiences to the development of the monastic Orders, testifies to the many and complex facets of the relationship between monasteries and water still present in the European landscape.


First documented in 707, the monastery of San Michele, located on the plain south of Vercelli, not far from the Po, testifies to the monastic presence in north western Italy in the Lombard period. It then assumed the title of San Michele and San Genuario following the arrival of the relics of the latter martyr, in the Carolingian age. From its origins, as written sources attest, the monastery dealt with a landscape profoundly marked by the presence of water, represented by rivers, streams and artificial canals, as well as marshes and swampy areas, traces of which can still be seen in the area today. Reflecting on the relationship between the monastery and its particular natural environment in the Middle Ages ; which is the subject of the first session of this  conference ; led us to widen our gaze to the whole of Europe, looking specifically at interaction between the monastic phenomenon and water (second and third sessions). Water plays a central role in the life of cenobitic centres, from a symbolic point of view, in the liturgy, in hagiographic and artistic production, and from a functional perspective, as an essential componen tin the daily existence of the communities. At the same time, water is a resource that is widely exploited economically by the monastic world, from fishing to various productive activities, but first and foremost as asource of power for mills.


18th May 2023, 2 pm

18 Maggio 2023, Ore 14.00

13.00 - Registration

(the virtual room will open at 13.30)

14.00 - 14.30- Instituional welcome

14.30 - 15.00 - Eleonora Destefanis, Università del Piemonte Orientale

Sessione  1 : San Genuario and “Southern Vercelli” in the Middle Ages: a monastery and its wetlands

Chair: Silvia Beltramo, Politecnico di Torino

15.00 - 15.30: Maria Elena Gorrini, Università di Pavia : Prima di Eusebio: l’ager di Vercellae in epoca romana imperiale

15.30 - 16.00: Francesca Garanzini, Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio per le Province di Biella, Novara, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola e Vercelli : Comunità e territorio in età medievale nel territorio bassovercellese: dati archeologici

16.00 - 16.30 : Giancarlo Andenna, Emerito Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano e Accademico dei Lincei : Monasteri tra Ticino, Po e Dora. I fiumi da pericoli a risorse economiche: trasporti, agricoltura, allevamento e conseguente produzione artigianale (secoli X-XIII)

16.30 - 16.45 : Coffee break

16.45 - 17.15 : Eleonora Destefanis e Federica Pondrano, Università del Piemonte Orientale : Archeologia dei monasteri a San Genuario di Lucedio: dati acquisiti e nuova prospettive di ricerca

17.15 - 17.45 : Alessandra Cesare e Valeria Mosca, Archiviste : L’abbazia di San Genuario e le acque: disegno del paesaggio e politiche di uso e controllo

17.45 - 18.15 : Discussione

19 Maggio 2023, Ore 9.00

Sessione 2 : Water in monastic complexes, between ideology and practice. The Early Middle Ages

Chair : Saverio Lomartire, Università del Piemonte Orientale

9 - 9.30 : Teemu Immonen, University of Turku : Saint Benedict and water in the pictorial arts

9.30 - 10.00 : Maria Carla Somma, Università di Chieti : Acque e monasteri nei territori di Benedetto. Una lettura archeologica da alcuni contesti dell’Italia centrale

10.00 - 10.30 : Florent Thorel, Université de Lille : Les amenagements hydrauliques d’une abbaye benedictine : exemple de Saint-Bertin

10.30 - 10.45 : Coffee break

10.45 - 11.15 : Colin Rynne, University College Cork : Waterpower and the early Irish monastery: the archaeological evidence

11.15 - 11.45 : Francisco José Moreno Martín, Complutense University of Madrid e María de los Ángeles Utrero Agudo, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Spanish National Research Council : Early medieval Hispanic monasteries as production settlements. Between topography, territory, water and architecture

11.45 - 12.15 : Discussione


19 Maggio 2023, Ore 14.00

Sessione 3 : The monastic Orders. High and Late Middle Ages

Chair: Giancarlo Andenna, Emerito Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano e Accademico dei Lincei

14 - 14.30 :Gilles Rollier, Inrap Bourgogne - Franche-Comté/Laboratoire HiSoMA : L’abbaye de Cluny et l’eau : entre traditions et innovations

14.30 - 15.00 : Cecilia Moine, Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio per le Province di Parma e Piacenza : Acque monastiche. La laguna nord di Venezia nel bassomedioevo

15.00 - 15.30 : Silvia Beltramo, Politecnico di Torino : Monasteri cistercensi e acqua: architetture e spazi nelle abbazie del nord Italia

15.30 - 16.00 : Virgolino Ferreira Jorge, University of Évora : La pianificazione idraulica di antichi monasteri e conventi in Portogallo

16.00 - 16.15 : Coffee break

16.15 - 17.00 : Gaby Lindenmann-Merz, Independent researcher : The bowl retains the water, the canal pours out...Reflections on Cistercian water management using examples from the British Isles and the Upper Rhine area

17.00 - 17.30 : József Laszlovszky, Central European University : “…locum prescriptum in qua eadem insula scilicet fundata est ęcclesia…”. Monastic Orders and Island Monasteries in Medieval Hungary

17.30 - 18.00 : Laszlo Ferenczi, Charles University, Prague : Examples of medieval Cistercian water management practices in Poland, Czechia and Hungary

18.00 - 18.30 : Discussion

18.30 - 19 : Gisella Cantino Wataghin, Università del Piemonte Orientale. Conclusion

Participation guidelines

In order to attend the conference via Zoom, please email us at: convegnosangenuario@gmail.com


  • Teatro “Cinico Angelini” - via manzoni 14
    Crescentino, Italian Republic (13044)

Event attendance modalities

Hybrid event (on site and online)


  • Thursday, May 18, 2023
  • Friday, May 19, 2023

Attached files


  • monasteries, archaeology, middle ages, water, monastic orders


  • Sala Valentina
    courriel : convegnosangenuario [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Sala Valentina
    courriel : convegnosangenuario [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Da San Genuario all'Europa. Monasteri e acqua, monasteri in terre d'Acqua », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, https://doi.org/10.58079/1b71

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