I was happy to find this magical place during my Tuscan trip this summer. Located 35 km from Siena among the broad fields and cypress trees, this place is literally surrounded by magic and is a real ‘must see’ place in Tuscany.
The Abbey of San Galgano is in Gothic style and was built between 1218 and 1288 by the Cisterician monks who came from Casamari. It’s the first gothic church built in Tuscany. It was built here because the Cistercian monks used to build their monasteries close to rivers where woods, marshlands and plains could be cultivated, and along important thoroughfares. Some important men formed the monastic community of S.Galgano but first the femine (1329) then the plague (1348) hit the community badly.
Afterwards the Abbey lands were devastated by mercenary bands and at the end of the 15th century the monks moved to Siena (Palace of San Galgano). In 1786, lightning struck the bell tower which collapsed onto the roof of the Abbey and the church was deconsecrated in 1789.
Right in front of the Abbey there is a cosy cafe where you can make a stop for a while to enjoy this beautiful Tuscan view…
How to get there:
San Galgano is located in the beautiful Val de Merse just 35 km south of Siena and can be best reached by car. Drive towards Rosia, which is about 20 km south of Siena, take a right and then follow the signs. Same you can do with a motorbike.
Visiting hours and entree fees:
April – October: daily from 9am to 7pm (till 8pm on Sundays and holidays);
November – March: daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm (6.30pm on Sundays and public holidays).