The Abbey of Farfa was a key to the medieval history of central Italy and its name comes from the ancient waterway that runs nearby. It was founded in the seventh century and reached its maximum splendour in terms of political, religious and economic power during the Carolingian period, when it was called the Imperial Abbey and had the privilege of being independent of any civil or religious power. The main church is one of the few with the traditional Carolingian aspects in Italy, has a Latin cross design and is divided into three main aisles. The access door to the church is an antique alloy of iron and copper, and above the entrance door there is a marble frame on which is painted the Madonna and Child crowned by angels with Saints Benedict and Scholastica. The interior furnishings are all original. Today the monastery is home to the Benedictine community of St. Paul.