The building made up of the Hermitage (also called Montesiepi’s Round) and of the ruins of the big St. Galgano's Cistercian Abbey, is one of the most enchanting views in Tuscany. The big St. Galgano's Abbey was built between 1220 and 1268, when in Italy the Romanesque style was merging with the newborn French Gothic style. This special place is known also for The Sword in the Stone placed in 1180 by Galgano Guidotti on Montesiepi’s Hermitage. This was the only known miracle performed by St. Galgano... but over 800 years later, it's still visible. 30 minutes drive from Casa Podere Monti ( 30 km ).
The Abbey of San Galgano is just 20 min drive from Casa Podere Monti and it is considered one of the most important religious monuments in whole Tuscany and surely among the greatest of the gothic monasteries in Italy! This is despite the essentially ruined state of the abbey - it has no roof and many internal walls and original buildings from the abbey complex can nolonger be seen. The abbey and the next Chapel of Montesiepi is in a isolated and picturesque countryside, that adds charm to it and also push you to appreciate the reason why the location was chosen for the purposes of reflection and pray.
You should includes in your visit to San Galgano Abbey the Chapel of Montesiepi, on hill close to the abbey . This pretty small chapel predates the abbey complex, which replaced it when it could not sustain the number of visitors it was receiving after the death of Galgano. From the Chapel you can enjoy a nice view across to the abbey and the hills.
This chapel dates from end of the 12th century, and hides a particular feature :the 'Sword in the Stone'. The sword was stuck into the stone by San Galgano Guidotti (for who the chapel was built who also gave his name to the abbey) when he retuned from the crusades and decided to become a hermit monac. His decision was taken after having a vision of the Archangel Michael who told him to renounce violence.
The Abbey of San Galgano is open every day with the following times:
- From November to March from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm;
- In April, May and October from 9am to 6pm;
-In June and September from 9am to 7pm;
- In July and August from 9am to 8pm.
For weddings or other events the opening hours may vary (for information call 0577/756738).
Ticket prices for visiting the monumental complex of San Galgano: 3,50 €
Reduced € 3.00 (up to 18 years, over 65).
Free of charge for children up to 6 years.