Abbadia San Salvatore

Abbey of Sant'Antimo

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Walking in Tuscany
             
 

N L        I T

Abbazia di Sant' Antimo


album Surroundings
       
   

The Abbey of Sant’Antimo


 
   
   

The Abbey of Sant’Antimo, a Benedictine monastery is situated in a picture-perfect setting just about 10 km south of Montalcino, just below the medieval hamlet of Castelnuovo dell'Abate.
It’s one of the most important examples of monastic architecture of the 13th century and by far the most important Romanesque building in southern Tuscany. The church was built around year 1100 and took the place of an older 9th century abbey. Only a few parts of the first abbey are left. It belonged to the Benedectines, and to the Guglielmite friars thereafter.

The Abbey was founded in the era of Charlemagne, and is a prestigious example of the meeting between French and Lombard Romanesque architecture. It was then enlarged in the 12th century. Inside the church a quiet silence circulates among walls and almost transparent alabaster columns. The darkness is barely lit by shafts of light that enter the narrow windows. The extraordinary capitals sculpted in bas relief unfold like a fan with a world of symbols whose meanings seem nearly lost at the beginning of time. Almost at the centre of the church there is a small crypt.

The layout inside is that of a typical pilgrimage church, with nave, side aisles, raised presbytery, ambulatory and small crypt. Sculptures adorn many of the capitals. In the ambulatory are some frescoes, attributed to Spinello Aretino of the 15th century) or an artist associated with Taddeo di Bartolo, depict a saintly pope believed to be Gregory the Great and a martyr saint - thought to be Sebastian.



Sant'Antimo Abbey is entered through the west portal, with decorations and lion statues of the 12th century



The Abbey of Sant’Antimo | Façade


The façade, which remains incomplete, houses a portal, probably one of a pair planned originally, surmounted by a lintel datable to the first half the 12th century, together with capitals, friezes and ferrules. The element that confers a French imprint on this church more than any other is the basilical ground plan, an ambulatory with radial chapels, unique in Tuscany and among the few present in Italy.
A study of Sant’Antimo was made by the art historian Raspi-Serra, and completed in the 1960’s. It brought us to conclude that the portal on the left side of the church of Santa Maria in San Quirico d’Orcia (approximately 20 km from Saint’Antimo), is none other than one of the two portals intended for the abbey. Perhaps the monastery, at that time, already in a state of decline, decided to give over the second portal to this other church.

The entrance has a high arch, and bas-relief decorations. Particularly interesting is the small doorway to the left; this dates back to the 9th century. Also on this side is the Bell Tower, with single-light and double-light windows. One of the bells dates back to 1219. The pre-Romanesque primitive chapel is visible on the right. The interior has three naves separated by high columns, alternated with pilasters in clusters in the lower part and twin lancet galleries above. The capitals in marble from the nearby Castelnuovo quarry are decorated with floral, human and geometric figures. The apse has radial chapels joined by an ambulatory, as in French Cathedrals.

The church is guarded at the entry by two stylised lions, probably destined for the external portal, datable to the 12th century and attributed to the Master of Cabestany, as is the splendid capital with the scenes of Daniel in the lions." The refined geometrical and leaf motifs, precise in outline and cleanly carved, indicate an origin in Auvergne.

To the right of the larger church, set at the beginning of the ambulatory, there is a Carolingian chapel of the 8th or 9th century, a small building with a single rectangular aisle and a semicircular apse. Outside on the left, the imposing bell tower rise to around 30 m, divided into four orders, decorated in Lombard style with a with a hint of Pisan taste in the columns at the angles of the base. The bell tower houses two bells, one of which is engraved with Abbot Ugo's name (1216-1222) and the date 1219.


 

The church is guarded at the entry by two stylised lions, probably destined for the external portal, datable to the 12 C and attributed to the Master of Cabestany, as is the splendid capital with the scenes of Daniel in the lionsden." The refined geometrical and leaf motifs, precise in outline and cleanly carved, indicate an origin in Auvergne.

 

The Abbey of Sant'Antimo | Interior

The Abbey of Sant’Antimo | Interior


The interior consists of three naves, with round arches resting on columns with alabaster capitals, all carved with geometrical, human, animal and flowers motifs. The women's gallery gives the hall a particular perspective; the semicircular apse, flanked by the apsidioles, is introduced by the altar, which the crypt lies beneath. A wooden crucifix from the second half of the 12th century stands behind the altar. Another wooden sculpture from around 1260 reperesenting the 'Madonna with Holy Child in Throne' rests against the right wall. The refined architectural elements recall a decorative richness with French influences.

 

 

 
     
The Abbey of Sant'Antimo was constructed on the site of a Roman villa. In the 4th and 5th centuries the village of Castelnuovo dell'Abate,
on the hills nearby, was an important inhabited centre, endowed with a parish.
Pieces recycled from the villa were reused in the church and are still visible in the tower.
   
   


Montalcino

Montalcino

   
To the south of Siena is a classic fairytale hilltop town, set within a full circle of fortified walls and watched over by a mighty castle of medieval perfection. Montalcino, west of Pienza, is a beautiful village immersed in the breathtaking Val d'Orcia Natural Park, renowned all over the world for the production of its precious Brunello red wine.
Montalcino received the Italian Orange Flag award for sustainable tourism.

The town has scarcely changed in appearance since the 16th century. Once you get up to the town, a magnificent spectacle unfolds for your eyes: rolling sunny hills dotted with yellow and red flowers, ancient oak trees, picturesque olive groves, scenic country roads winding through perfect vineyards and isolated cypress trees atop hills.
The fortress has remained practically intact since the Middle Ages and often becomes the special setting for festivals, concerts, and events, such as the famous Jazz & Wine Festival held in July each year.

Another landmark of Montalcino is the tall and slender clock tower that graces the Palazzo dei Priori, the city's town hall, while below lies the main square known as Piazza del Popolo with its characteristic Gothic loggia. Also worth visiting are the Palazzo Vescovile and the churches of Sant' Agostino, Sant' Egidio and San Francesco.

The Museo Civico e Diocesano d’Arte Sacra, (Via Ricasoli 31, ust off Piazza Sant’Agostino) occupies a former monastery. The museum houses 14th- to 16th-century Sienese paintings, among which Madonna with Child by Simone Martini's workshop, Madonna with Child by Luca di Tommè, paintings by Giovanni di Paolo, Sano di Pietro and the grand polyptych of the Coronation of the Virgin Mary and the Stories from her Life by Bartolo di Fredi; a collection of painted wooden sculptures; a number of 17th-century paintings and sculptures, and a collection of works by Arturo Luciani (1861-1936). In addition, 16th- and 17th-century church vestments and gold-work, and a collection of 52 majolica jugs and local artifacts which may be dated between the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century.

Montalcino’s fame derives from its production of one of Italy’s finest red wines known as Brunello di Montalcino.
Brunello, roughly translated as "nice dark one" in the local dialect, is the unofficial name of the clone of Sangiovese (also known as Sangiovese Grosso grown in the Montalcino region. Brunello di Montalcino was Italy's first wine to be accorded D.O.C.G. status

Wines in Tuscany | Brunello di Montalcino


 


Montalcino

 

Banfi, Castello di Poggio alle Mura, view from Podere Santa Pia

 

 

Sant’Angelo in Colle

   

Sant'Angelo in Colle is tiny but beautiful medieval village, 8 km souoth of Montalcino and



 

SantAngeloInColleMontalcinoPanorama1
Sant’Angelo in Colle

 


San Quirico d’Orcia

   
San Quirico d’Orcia is situated on a hill slope between the Orcia river and the Tuoma torrent valley. Getting into San Quirico, walking from north through the Dante Alighieri street, you can find the Collegiata Church, a spended building from the XII century. Near the Church you can find the Palazzo Chigi, that hosts now the municipal building, built in the XVII century, Inside the palazzo there are a lot of beautiful wall paintings and at the first floor it hosts the Italian Garden Archive. In front of it you can find the Palazzo Pretorio, where the Natural Artistic and Cultural Park of Val d’Orcia comitee is located. Walking towards south you'll hit the Piazza della Libertà, San Quiricos' main square, with the San Francesco Church and the Porta Nuova, the ancient access to the village. In the same square there are Horti Leonini , a typical garden from the XVI century. During the summer there are a lot of cultural activities in it, such as the “Forme nel Verde”, an important international sculpture exhibition.


 
San Qurico d'Orcia
The Val d’Orcia Unesco Worldwide Humanity Heritage

The Val d’Orcia is an important natural, artistic and cultural park and from 2nd july 2004 is declared Unesco Worldwide Humanity Heritage, because of its excellent inspiration for many artists from Middle Ages on. The Val d’Orcia deeply influenced the development of the landscape celebrated by senese’s school painters which flourished during the Renaissance. Images of the Val d’Orcia, and particularly depictions of landscapes where people are depicted as living in harmony with nature, have come to be seen as icons of the Renaissance and have profoundly influenced the development of landscape thinking.
The Val d’Orcia, or Valdorcia, is a region of Tuscany, central Italy, which extends from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata. It is characterised by gentle, carefully cultivated hills occasionally broken by gullies and by picturesque towns and villages such as Pienza (rebuilt as an “ideal town” in the 15th century under the patronage of Pope Pius II), Radicofani (home to the notorious brigand-hero Ghino di Tacco) and Montalcino (the Brunello di Montalcino is counted among the most prestigious of Italian wines).
The Val d’Orcia is an important natural, artistic and cultural park and from 2nd july 2004 is declared Unesco Worldwide Humanity Heritage, because of its excellent inspiration for many artists from Middle Ages on

The Val d'Orcia between Pienza and Monte Amiata, view to the west from La Foce. The territory of the Val d'Orcia is made up, mainly of a hilly landscape with gently rolling hills and valleys typical of the Sienese Crete and a rich variety of vegetation.

 
   

Camigliano, Castelnuovo dell'Abate, S.Angelo in Colle, S. Angelo Scalo, Torrenieri and Tavernelle are frazioni of Montalcino.


 


Holiday Accommodation Tuscany

Hidden secrets in Tuscany | Holiday house Podere Santa Pia


Podere Santa Pia, situated in a particularly scenic valley, which overlooks on the hills around Cinigiano, up to Montecristo and Corsica

The Maremma is a large area in southern Tuscany. It is a perfect microcosm that stretches between the provinces of Livorno and Grosseto. In the Divine Commedy, Dante Alighieri identified its borders from "Cecina to Corneto" (Tarquinia in Lazio). Maremma is unique because of the variety of its territory: blue sea, long beaches, black rock, hills covered with woods, marshes and flat lands, green hills and natural thermal baths.

 

 
         

 

 

Cortona, Santa Maria de Nuova
Orvieto, Duomo
Montalcino
         
         

Podere Santa Pia is located 3 km from Castigliocello Bandini, 15 km from Abazziia San 't Antimo and Montalcino, and 1 hour away from the seaside and close to art cities like Siena, Pienza, Montepulciano and San Quirico d'Orcia.

This page uses material from the Wikipedia articles Abbey of Sant'Antimo, Montalcino, published under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Abbey of Sant'Antimo.



Abbey of Sant’Antimo website



Walking and trekking in Tuscany


From San Quirico d'Orcia to Chiusi


The Val d'Orcia is a symbol of the Terre di Siena, the lands surrounding Siena. The cypress-lined road that leads from Val d'Orcia to Val di Chiana is a beautiful way to discover this corner of Tuscany, one of the region's most beautiful areas.

This itinerary begins in San Quirico d'Orcia, with its rich collection of architectural monuments (the Collegiata of Saints Quirico and Giulitta, the Church of the Misericordia, Palazzo Pretorio, Palazzo Chigi, the Church of Santa Maria di Vitaleta, and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta) and the Horti Leonini, 16th century Italian style gardens designed by Diomede Leoni which are used today as the site of contemporary sculpture installations.

Take the stunning ridge-road to Pienza, which offers views of the surrounding hills. The heart of the historic centre of this town was created following the ideals of Renaissance Humanism. Enea Silvio Piccolomini (the Sienese Pope Pius II) entrusted the design of the town to Bernardo Gambarelli, better known as Rossellino, an architect of the school of Leon Battista Alberti. Work on the central piazza began in 1459 and just three years later the town was officially chartered. Follow the small path which leads toward the city's edge along the left-hand side of the church to discover a spectacular view of the Val d'Orcia. Don't leave town without buying a selection of the local pecorino cheeses.

Next stop is Montepulciano, following a road so beautiful it seems as though it was created by a landscape architect. Take a stroll below the town and discover the majestic cellars hidden there which offer tastings of the local Nobile di Montepulciano, one of Tuscany's best wines.

Next head towards Chianciano and Chianciano Terme where the water is valued almost as much as the wine for its healing properties for locals and tourists alike.

The last stop is in Chiusi to explore the ancient Etruscan culture hidden in the catacombs and tunnels of the Labyrinth of Porsenna. For those who want to find out more, a stop at the Archeological Museums at Chiusi, Chianciano Terme and Sarteano are musts.

[Fonte: Tourist Information Offices - APT Siena Address: piazza Campo, 56]


Circular walk from Sant'Antimo

   
If you have time leave your car up in Montalcino and walk down to the abbey. You can take the bus back to Montalcino from Castelnuovo dell'Abate.

There is a hiking trial from ant'Antimo which takes you up into the woods towards Montalcino. The trail is well marked - it goes to your right from the main pathway to the church, just before you turn left to go to the church. Both times we were there we walked out along the trail for about 30 minutes, then walked back, but you can walk all the way to Montalcino. You get some lovely views of the church and the valley along the trail.
The Blue Guide also mentions the town of Sant'Angelo in Colle, 6km from Sant'Antimo, as being an "enchanting well-preserved village on the top of a hill ... contained in its circle of walls". You can drive there on a white road (dirt road) from Sant'Antimo or on a paved road from Montalcino.
 

 

Nearby the town of Sant'Angelo in Colle
Nearby the town of Sant’Angelo in Colle, 6km from Sant’Antimo, an enchanting well-preserved village on the top of a hill contained in its circle of walls. You can drive there on a dirt road from Sant’Antimo or on a paved road from Montalcino.


Walk around Pienza | Montepulciano - Pienza



Walk around Pienza

   
The trail starts on the Piazza Dante Alighieri in Pienza, and continues along the Viale Santa Caterina that leads to the Pieve di Corsignano, an exceptional example of Romanesque art just outside of the city walls of Pienza. Admire the carvings on the side of this ancient structure, which dates possibly from the 10th century. This was Pienza's original parish church.
Follow the paved path beyond this beautiful Romanesque church, first along a derelict farm, then along the where you are right on a paved road to the intersection with the road San Quirico d'Orcia - Pienza. Walk in the direction of Pienza and turn right after about 10 minutes. The path runs downhill to Podere Arpicella. Turn left, and beyond a medieval tower, you can walk right back to Pienza (Viale Santa Caterina).

Make time to visit the Romanesque Pieve di Corsignano, half a kilometre out of Pienza, along Via Fonti from Piazza Dante Alighieri. The Pieve di Corsignano dates from the 10th century and boasts a strange circular bell tower. There are no regular visiting times but the church is usually open.

 

Montepulciano - Pienza | 11 km, 3 hours

This walk is interesting for its varied landscape: from Montepulciano to Monticchiello you walk through countryside with olive groves, vineyards, walnut and fig trees and through typical Mediterranean woods, with holm oaks (evergreen oak Quercus Ilex), heather and broom. From Monticchiello to Pienza you walk on the balcony of the Val d'Orcia, a valley among beautiful rolling hills, framed by wheat fields, and occasional dark green pinnacles of cypress.

Walking in Tuscany | Walk around Pienza | Montepulciano - Pienza



 

Pieve di Corsignano


Madonna di San Biagio

Florence, San Miniato al Monte
Monte Cucco wine region
Siena, Piazza del Campo
Florence, San Miniato al Monte
         

Maps and descriptions available in Podere Santa Pia

Kompass map 653 Pienza - Montalcino - Monte Amiata (1:50.000)
Touring Club Italiano (map 8 Toskana, 1:200.000)