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and cellar with wine tasting and light-lunch Agriturismo Cesani San Gimignano - Siena Relais della Rovere hotel relais colle val d'elsa Siena Bed Breakfast La Fornace di Racciano  San Gimignano - Siena

Monte Oliveto Maggiore abbey

Monte Oliveto Maggiore is a Congregation, found in a marvellous spot just south of Siena, in what is characteristic of this countryside, the crete senesi.


Monte Oliveto Maggiore abbeyMother House of the Olivetan Congregation, found in a marvellous spot just south of Siena (c.f. Map), in what is characteristic of this countryside, the "crete senesi" (clay which has a specific colouring, typical to Siena).
The Congregation was founded in 1313 by John Tolomei - who took the religious name of Bernard - along with two of his friends, from the noble families of Siena: Patrick Patrizi and Ambrose Piccoomini. They lived as hermits in a place called the "Accona desert". After the arrival of a number of new followers the nascent community accepted the Rule of St.Benedict and was recognised by Pope Clement VI in 1344.
The building of the monastery began with the approbation of the "Charta fundationis" by Guido Tarlati, bishop of Arezzo (26 March 1319), and the monastery took the name of Monte Oliveto «Maggiore» (Major) so as to distinguuish it from successive foundations (Florence, S.Giminiano, Naples, etc.).
Monte Oliveto Maggiore abbeyA tower with drawbridge stands at the entrance to the monastery, the road leading to it is surrounded by cypress trees and small chapels: St.Frances of Rome (1644), the cave of Bl.Bernard, St.Scholastica. The tower, transformed into a restaurant (tel. 0577 707022), is decorated by a terracotta (early 16th Cent.) representing the Madonna and Child flanked by two angels.
The interior of the Church, which is in the shape of a Latin Cross, was redesigned at the end of the 18th Cent. There are a number of works of art to take note of, among which: the Crucifix made of wood, brought by Bl:Bernard in 1313; the choir stalls inlaid by Fra Giovanni da Verona and the lectern by Fra Raffaele da Brescia (1518).
The marvel of the monastery is the Great Cloister with its 36 frescoes (Luca Signorelli, 1497 and Antonio Bazzi - called "Sodoma", 1505) which reount the life of St.Benedict, according to the Book of Dialogues by St.Gregory.
It is also possible to visit the Refectory, with its frescoes dating back to the 17th Cent., the Library (stripped unfortunately of its more precious books), the Pharmacy with its terracotta vases/ampules and a small art gallery in the Chapter Room.

INFO:
The Abbey is open to visitors each day from: 09.15 - 12.00 and from15.15 - 17.00 (18.00 in summer).
Groups are welcome to visit the Abbey, and to be shown around by one of our english speaking tourist guides.
To make a booking, please telephone: 0577 71 85 67 (meals time)
Monte Oliveto Maggiore Monastery


Asciano: discover the surroundings

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    The city of Asciano is on high ground in the upper Ombrone valley, on the old Via Lauretana.
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  • Crete Senesi Crete Senesi
    The territory of Crete Senesi contains all of those things which we have come to associate with Tuscany
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  • Rapolano Terme Rapolano Terme (7 km)
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Accommodations in the area


    • Siena (Siena)
    • 23 km from Asciano

    Agriturismo Marciano

    Agriturimo Marciano : an exlusive opportunity, two holidays at the place of only one. stay in the country and life downtown. Marciano is located near the walls of the Middle Age town of Siena.
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    • Montepulciano (Siena)
    • 24 km from Asciano

    Agriturismo le Caggiole

    Immersed in the verdant countryside around the noble town of Montepulciano, that boasts ancient Etruscan origins, Le Caggiole Estate is perfectly located for exploring Tuscany's most prized treasures.
    In a relaxing and cosy atmosphere uests are offered three comfortable, quiet double rooms with private bathrooms and two comfortable apartments for two persons and for small family groups.

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    • Colle Val D'Elsa (Siena)
    • 41 km from Asciano

    Relais della Rovere

    The Relais Della Rovere is a charming hotel created from the conversion of an ancient Benedictine abbey and a papal villa of the Renaissance period.
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    • Colle Val D'Elsa (Siena)
    • 44 km from Asciano

    La Pieve

    La Pieve, charming farmhouse located on the hills of Val d'Elsa, between Volterra and San Gimignano, along the Via Francigena, in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, with its luxuriant nature and rich history.
    Framed by olive trees and a wood, it fosters a direct dialogue with nature in complete relaxation where they contemplate and enjoy the stillness in private and unique spaces.

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    • San Gimignano (Siena)
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    Agriturismo la Lucciolaia

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    This ancient farmhouse has been recently renovated and divided into eleven double rooms and two Suites, where the magic atmosphere of past times is perfectly blended with modern comforts.

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    • San Gimignano (Siena)
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    Agriturismo Villa il Palagetto

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    Provides comfortable accommodation in 6 double bedrooms and two Suites

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    • San Gimignano (Siena)
    • 50 km from Asciano

    B&B la Fornace di Racciano

    La Fornace di Racciano is a lovely Bed&Breakfast a short distance from the historical centre of medieval San Gimignano. It consists of a typical Tuscan country house surrounded by a large flowery garden.
    La Fornace di Racciano consists of seven comfortable rooms and four apartments, two of which are located in the ancient hamlet of Racciano.

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    • San Gimignano (Siena)
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    Agriturismo Cesani

    Azienda Agricola Biologica Cesani is an organic farm nestled in the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside, in the tiny country hamlet of Pancole, 6 km to the medieval town of San Gimignano.
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    • Firenze (Florence)
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    Marignolle relais & charme

    The charming Marignolle Relais & Charme, nestled the hills of Florence, is the ideal solution for those who want a place of excellence and relaxation and love peace and privacy without the amenities of a luxury hotel.
    Marignolle Relais & Charme is especially appreciated by travelers looking for style and tradition by offering deluxe rooms or junior suites in a refined, with superior comforts and impeccable services that make this relais an excellence of Florence.

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    • Castiglione della Pescaia (Grosseto)
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    Villa Roccamare

    Beautiful and characteristic villa with stone finishes located in the exclusive Roccamare area in Castiglione della Pescaia.
    Surrounded by the green of the pine forest and the total privacy with 2000 sqm park equipped with relaxation area and barbecue is located about 400 meters from the sea and has a private beach.

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