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the abbey of san galgano
beauty in ruins

San Galgano

The ruined Abbey of San Galgano

There's this place, at the edge of nothing in rural Tuscany, not particularly close to any of the major tourist cities, and outside the major bus circuits.  It's quiet is interrupted only by the swaying of cypress trees in the wind and the rare tourist snapping photographs.  This is the thirteenth century Abbey of San Galgano which now lies in ruins, roofless, windowless, and open to the sky.

Cypress trees on the path to the Abbey of San Galgano Abbey of San Galgano
Abbey of San Galgano
Windows at the Abbey of San Galgano Abbey of San Galgano
Abbey of San Galgano Abbey of San Galgano
Abbey of San Galgano
Abbey of San Galgano Abbey of San Galgano
Abbey of San Galgano
Abbey of San Galgano Abbey of San Galgano
Details

The Abbey of San Galgano is about 30 km west of Siena, near Monticiano and Chiusidino.  There is a restaurant and hotel directly across from the Abbey and a small winery cafe near the Abbey, but otherwise there's not much of anything around the Abbey.  Aside from the beautiful Abbey, there is a hermitage on the hill known as Montisieno, which is famed for containing a sword stuck into a stone, perhaps the origin of the King Arthur tale.  The legend goes that the saint San Galgano plunged the sword in the stone around 1180 when he gave up his sinful life to become a hermit.  The monastery was built around the tomb of San Galgano.  Both the monastery and the Abbey are the perfect spots to spend a sunny Tuscan afternoon.

04/27/2012 09:33
Stunning. Look like it's worth the detour. Lovely photos.
Kristina's recent blog post: A Visit To Trajan’s Market in Rome
04/28/2012 13:01
I would love to stay in the adjacent hotel!
Andi of My Beautiful Adventures's recent blog post: Andi’s Pick: La Suite Rio
04/30/2012 11:57
It would be amazing Andi! :)
04/30/2012 09:47
Beautiful! Looks a bit like a Continental Tintern Abbey.
wandergirl's recent blog post: Welcome to Wanderlustkind!
04/30/2012 11:53
Wandergirl,I had no idea about Continental Tintern Abbeys! I had to look it up and it looks gorgeous, as well. Mark that one down for another one to visit. :)
05/02/2012 10:08
Gorgeous photos there.

I would loved to have seen this Abbey in its heyday all up and running with monks (brewing beer, hopefully).
Tom @ ActiveBackpacker's recent blog post: Five Reasons To Get Off Your Butt And Travel Right Now
05/23/2012 14:33
Tom, thank you! I agree - I think it must have been an incredible Abbey (though I don't know if the Italian monks focused on brewing beer or if they did more winemaking). Either way, it must have been an incredible place when it was still running.
Akila's recent blog post: why take guided tours
05/06/2012 18:36
Wow! What fantastic images! You are a truly great photographer. Excellent job capturing the beauty of the abbey. I would love to travel to see this place in person. Thanks for the share!
05/23/2012 10:53
Thanks so much Daniel! Really appreciate it.
Akila's recent blog post: why take guided tours

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