Guided Tour of San Galgano Abbey and Chiusdino
Visiting the ancient Abbey of San Galgano
The fascinating ruins of the Abbey of San Galgano still rise into the countryside near Siena, at few metres from the legendary sword in the rock. This fascinating place tells us the secular history of the Cistercians Monks, who lived here until the sixteenth century.
We will begin our visit from the monastery garden, crossing the path that once must have been the entrance to the grandiose complex. The surviving environments of the Scriptorium and of the Chapter House will show us into the majestic Abbey Church, an imposing stone skeleton that arouses wonder in those who visit it and who has fascinated the characters of the past, such as the great Soviet director Andrej Tarkovskij who wanted to shoot the scenes here of his masterpiece “Nostalghia”.
The Sword in the Rock exist, and it’s in Tuscany!
During our tour of San Galgano Abbey, a few steps away, we will visit the hermitage of Montesiepi, the original nucleus of the monastic complex, a beautiful circular church built in Roman style as mausoleum of the Saint who lived here between 1182 and 1185. Its greater particularity is the so-called ‘the Rotonda of Saint Galgano‘ with a unique, for the constructions of that time, plan. It encloses, beyond to the tomb of the saint, the famous rock with the sword.
Hidden Tuscany, the medieval Village of Chiusdino
The myth of San Galgano can however be fully understood only if you visit Chiusdino, a place where the ‘courtly saint’ was born. The historic center is a place that has preserved intact the medieval structure with its ancient entrances, alleys and churches, such as the Propositura dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel – and where today the relic of San Galgano’s skull is preserved – or the house of the holy knight, where there is a stone that recalls a truly prodigious event …
The visit to the Diocesan Museum – whose entrance is included in the ticket you have already purchased at the abbey – offers the opportunity to get to know important works of art coming from the territory.
An itinerary through the Medieval Tuscany
The route to the Abbey of San Galgano and the village of Chiusdino is undoubtedly a fascinating journey back in time, on the trail of knights, pilgrims and builders of cathedrals.