Abbadia San Salvatore

Abbey of Sant'Antimo




Archipelago Toscano




Badia di Coltibuono

Bagni San Filippo

Bagno Vignoni

Barberino Val d'Elsa


Bolsena Lake


Brunello di Montalcino




Castel del Piano



Castellina in Chianti


Castelnuovo Bererdenga

Castiglioncello Bandini

Castiglione della Pescaia

Castiglione d'Orcia

Castiglion Fiorentino



Chinaciano Terme




Città di Castello

CivitÀ di Bagnoregio

Colle Val d'Elsa


Crete Senesi

Diaccia Botrona

Isola d'Elba



Gaiole in Chianti



Greve in Chianti


Lago Trasimeno

La Foce



Massa Marittima

Montagnola Senese


Monte Amiata

Monte Argentario





Monte Oliveto Maggiore








Parco Naturale della Maremma







Radda in Chianti



San Bruzio

San Casciano dei Bagni

San Galgano

San Gimignano

San Giovanni d'Asso

San Quirico d'Orcia


Santa Fiora














Tavernelle Val di Pesa

Torrita di Siena




Val d'Elsa

Val di Merse

Val d'Orcia

Valle d'Ombrone




Walking in Tuscany
N L        I T
Abbadia San Salvatore


album Surroundings

Abbadia San Salvatore


Abbadia San Salvatore lies on the edge of extensive chestnut woods covering the eastern side of Monte Amiata and is one of the oldest monasteries in Tuscany. In the mediaeval period, it was an important station on the Via Francigena, the pilgrim route from northern Europe to Rome. The picturesque medieval borgo or village round the monastery has one of the best preserved mediaeval centres of Tuscany. It preserves its outer walls and streets intact, with medieval and Renaissance houses of locai grey stone. Abbadia San Salvatore is the largest town of Mount Amiata, surrounded by nature trails of extraordinary beauty and the thermal centres of Bagni San Filippo and Bagno Vignoni.

From an urban point of view three are the areas that characterize the village. The historic centre develops around the Abbey which was at a later stage surrounded by the medieval hamlet. Between the XIX and the XX century the new part of the village was built which includes the mining area and extends down the steep flanks of the mountain.

The historic and social events of the village are closely linked to the existence of the Abbey of San Salvatore, religious centre that played a fundamental role in the christianization of the mountain. The Benedettine abbey, which was immensely rich and powerful, was founded in 743 by the Lombard king, Ratchis, on the spot where he saw a vision. A short time after its foundation it became the most important abbey of Tuscany. At the peak of its temporal and spiritual powers in 1035 the abbey was rebuilt and reconsecrated by Abbot Winizzo. There followed a period of decline when it carne under the dominion of Siena in 1347, and evenlually was incorporateci into the Medici state in 1559. In the 16th century the single interior nave, a characteristic Latin cross, was whole modernized. Not to be missed is the visit to the crypt which is built on a Latin cross floor plan and has 13 small naves outlined by 36 columns all different from each other with capitals characterized by Romanesque sculptures. The monastery was suppressed by grand-duke Leopoldo II in 1783, and most of its treasury and archives were removed to Florence. A Benedictine community was reinstalled here in 1939.

We reach the medieval hamlet through the Porta Castello also known as Porta della Badia, so called because it linked the medieval hamlet to the abbey. Other attractions in the town include the medieval borough, the Palazzo della Potesta (15th century) and the church of Santa Croce.

Among the churches outside the village walls that are worth mentioning is the Madonna dei Remedi (17th century) where since the high middle ages a tabernacle with a painted madonna is considered to be miraculous. On the road leading to the mountain instead, we find the church of the Madonna del Castagno (16th century) built in place of a votive chapel dedicated to the Madonna. Outside the village, surrounded by chestnut trees, is the small oratory of the Chiesa dell'Ermeta which houses a carved wooden crucifix regularly worshipped by the local people.

Abbadia San Salvatore prides a famous traditional festival, coming back for a thousand years, Fiaccole della Notte di Natale.

Weekly market on the 2nd and 4th thursday of the month.




Chiesa della Madonna del Castagno



Codex Amiatinus, f 796v, pred 716, Maiestas

Album Sovana, Sovana Photo Gallery

Monte Amiata Pictures Gallery




Abbazia di San Salvatore


Abbazia San Salvatore di Monte Amiata   Abbazia San Salvatore di Monte Amiata, La cripta longobarda   AbbadiaSanSalvatoreComune
Abbazia di San Salvatore  

Abbazia San Salvatore di Monte Amiata, La cripta longobarda



Il Palazzo del Podestà, oggi palazzo del comune


Una galleria del Museo minerario   Pozzo Garibaldi, Abbadia San Salvatore   AbbadiaSSPavillonHorlogeMine

Una galleria del Museo minerario



  Pozzo Garibaldi    

Museum of the Abbey of San Salvatore
Via del Monastero 42.
Works of sacred art of great value are displayed, among which a copy of the Amiata Bible reprinted in its original form.

The Abbadia San Salvatore Mining Museum
The mining museum, housed in the old clock tower building, hosts a rich collection of minerals, equipment, work tools and photographs that tell the story of mercury and of the communities whose stories are closely linked to it: from the Neolithic populations, the Etruscans and the Romans, to the modern age.

Parco Museo Minerario di Abbadia San Salvatore | Piazzale Rossaro (mining area)
It is located in the mining area and it recreates, through reproductions, documents and various items, the history of the mercury, the miners and therefore the history of the community that helped shape the identity of the Amiata territory.
Open every day: 9.30-12.30 and 15.30-18.30 from 15 June to 2 November and on public holidays.


Monte Amiata

Bagni San Filippo

Bagni San Filippois famous for its beautiful natural backdrop of white limestone deposits formed by the thermal waters that thread through this otherwise green territory. 

Travel in Tuscany| Outdoor Thermal baths in Tuscany, Bagni San Filippo


Castiglione d'Orcia, Bagni S.Filippo, Balena Bianca


Bagni San Filippo is a small but lovely spa town in Castiglione d'Orcia, on Monte Amiata. The wild thermal baths in Bagni San Filippo, with the calcium formations of the Balena Bianca, make this little town a nice stop when you travel through southern Tuscany.
Le Meraviglie (Alice Rohrwachter, 2014) was filmed on location in Bagni San Filippo and other places in Southern Tuscany.

Films set in Tuscany | Le Meraviglie (Alice Rohrwachter, 2014)

  Monica Belluci in Le Merqaviglie
Monica Bellucci in Le Merqaviglie

Map Bagni San Filippo, Balena Bianca | Enlarge map


Photo Gallery Bagni San Filippo


Bagni San Filippo - Toscana ITALY   BagniSanFilippoPanorama3   BagniSanFilippoFossoBianco1

La cascata della balena bianca, Terme Bagni San Filippo


  Bagni San Filippo  

River (torrente) Fosso Bianco in Bagni San Filippo


Vivo d'Orcia

The castle of Vivo d'Orcia boasts a long and fascinating history. In 1002 a hermitage was founded on this spot by camaldolese monks close to the source of the Vivo river - which means alive - a vital site as it also supplies the city of Siena with water. The monastery and the surrounding land were sold in 1534 to the later Pope Marcello II, who adapted the Castello del Vivo with the help of the famous renaissance architect Antonio da Sangallo, renowned for the palazzi he built in Siena and Rome. Since then the property has been in the family (the picture below shows the view onto the castle).

Next to the castle there is an arched stone doorway leading down to the hamlet which in the past housed the peasants and their families. An agricultural estate like this once used to be completely self-sufficient and provided itself not only with food and drink, but also had ist own carpenters, potters, weavers, metal forgers and glazers on the premises. In fact, hidden in the woods below the nearby Casa del Contadino you will find romantic ruins of what used to be the mill and the forgery in the 18th century. The small romanesque church of S. Marcello near Casa di Piero deserves a notice. The familiy chapel, also romanesque, stands in the woods nearby.

Palazzo Cervini near Vivo d'Orcia

Eremo del Vivo

Abbadia San salvatore-Piancastagnaio-Seragiolo | Sentiero 15 |11 km, 3 hours

From Abbadia, locality Villini, the pathway follows clockwise the Ring of the Amiata till the farm house Cipriana and, from this crossroads after another small climb it gets over the locality Le Pianaccie and climbs down towards the farm house Montarioso, then the locality Quaranta and it finally climbs down again along the left bank of the Minestrone ditch, till Pianacastagnaio.
From the locality Quaranta a detour leads in little more than 2 km and a hour on foot to Seragiolo. This stretch of the pathway is a short cut of the asphalt road (suitable for vehicles) joining the localities of Quaranta- Podere Pozzoni- Case Fioravanti.
To the beechwoods of La Madonna del Camicione | 5,4 km, 5 hours

This course draws its name from the beautiful beech wood along which it gently winds its way. From the very start at the Primo Rifugio (First Hut), you find yourself immediately part of an atmosphere characterised by the restful shade of the trees, alternating with beams of light that penetrate with difficulty through the thick foliage.

Trekking in Tuscany | To the beechwoods of La Madonna del Camicione

Anello Amiata (Amiata's Ring) | (AA and path 10 and 11 on the map)

The ring surrounds the mountain essentially along the level curve of the 1200 m altitude and can be reached through many roads coming from Vivo d'Orcia, Seggiano, Casteldelpiano, Arcidosso, Santa Fiora, Piancastagniaio and Abbadia San Salvatore.
Through the pathways it is possible to reach the ring from many different directions: following the pathway number 10, starting form Arcidosso, with the pathway 11 from Vivo D'Orcia, with the pathway number 12 from Santa Fiora, with the pathway number 14 from Piancastagnaio and the pathway 15 from Radicofani.

The road winds up, except for some stretches of asphalt road, in a wide pathway, about 27 km long, which allows the wanderer to reach the ring in about 7 hours and without difficulty.
Starting from Abbadia San Salvatore, which is the nearest village to the Ring, and walking anti-clockwise from the seat of the Mine Museum, one meets the church of the Ermeta, then the Spring of the Acquapassante, the Refuge of Capo Vetra, a central crossroads on the Siena's slope of the Mount Amiata, the hillock Sasso dei Falchi, the Locality Madonna del Camicione, the hillock Pescina, the Capanna di Mecopapa, the Spring of the Monache, the Podere Cipriana and then once again the villas of Abbadia San Salvatore.
The pathway can be walked down on foot, but also on horseback, by bike (mountain bike) and, in winter, it turns into a cross-country ski slope.
The pathway offers the possibility of enjoying enchanting panoramas of the peak and of the valleys of the Orcia, Paglia and Fiora rivers and crosses wonderful beech forests, intermingled with chestnut trees, oaks and pine and fir tree reforestations. In the areas between the chestnut trees and the beech trees there are many native maples, hazels and hawthorns.
The excursionist crosses therefore many different landscapes and can enjoy the majesty of the maples, almost creating a boulevard in locality Poggio Lombardo or he ort she can pass under the magic vaults created by the beech trees in locality Aia dei Venti or enjoy, in winter, the sight of fairy snowed landscapes in locality Madonna del Camicione among the fir tree forests.

From Vivo d’Orcia all’Eremo to the heremitage and the spring of Vivo

Characteristics: not a particularly difficult itinerary, ideal even during the summer months, it almost completely
unfolds among woodlands.
Departure and arrival: Vivo d’Orcia
Length: ca. 5 km
Road surface: footpath and cart road
Height difference: ca. 200 m
Duration: 2 hours

The Castle of Vivo d'Orcia lies in the widespread Orcia valley in southern Tuscany and it boasts a long and fascinating history. The castle has been in the same family since 1534 and since then the property has not changed hands. Up till today the owner spend most of the summer months in residence in the Castello del Vivo.
An old stone bridge covered in moss with the name Ponte degli Innamorati (lovers' bridge) marks the entrance to this romantic property. To the right is the castle, which is still lived in by the by members of the family. To the left is an arched stone doorway leading down to the hamlet which in the past housed the peasants and their families.
A little apart form the castle stands a romanesque chapel - San Marcello - surrounded by old farmhouses which form a nice piazzetta.

From Vivo d’Orcia we start downhill on Via dell’Eremo toward the white-fir forest of Vivo d’Orcia, one of the last remaining in Tuscany of this kind. At the end of the road we cross the bridge over the Vivo stream passing under a stone arch that leads to the Borgo dell’Eremo.
Very few houses are clustered around the XVI century Palazzo Cervini and the church of San Marcello. We proceed going back to the stone arch without crossing the stream, turning left on a footpath that starts at a gate and some stone steps that climb up to the fir-woods.

[read more]


Trekking in the Maremma | Maps

Kompass nr. 653, Pienza - Montalcino - Monte Amiata, 1 : 50.000 or Edizione Multigraphic/Provincia di Siena, Val d'Orcia, 1 : 25.000.

There are a few brochures and books available in Podere Santa Pia, with more information and walking tracks: Amiata without haste... By foot (Itineraries), Amiata by bike (Itineraries) (see itinerary 9), Amiata senza fretta... a piedi (itinerairies 9.1 and 9.2).

Abbadia San Salvatore borders Castel del Piano, Castiglione d'Orcia, Piancastagnaio, Radicofani, San Casciano dei Bagni, Santa Fiora, Seggiano.


Arcidosso, Casteldelpiano, Castell' Azzara, Cinigiano, Roccalbegna, Santa Fiora, Seggiano, Semproniano all belong to the area that is known as the Amiata Grossetana, that section of the mountain that looks over the Val d'Orcia to the North, and out over the Maremma to the West. This area is part of the "enchanted mountain" which, with its evocative natural elements, its colours, murmurings, rustlings and above all, silence, is one of the best preserved ecosystems in central Italy.
Olive groves, centuries old, cover the area, dating back to Etruscan times, have been mentioned in the chronicles and diaries of many notable celebrities and travellers in the past. The Archduke of Tuscany, Pietro Leopoldo di Lorena declared, in 1783, that he was astonished by the beauty of the olive groves that flanked the valleys of the river Vivo, while 12 years later, Giorgio Santi wrote in his travel notebooks "that the hill is adorned with beautiful olive groves nurturing olive trees of extraordinary age and size".

The oil obtained by the Amiata Olivastra is special for its yield and its low acidity content. "Olivastra Seggianese" has gained the distinction of DOP (Denomination of Protected Origin). The presence of this plant, limited by climatic and altitude factors, is due to the on site existence of a special cultivation the "Olivastra Seggianese" and of its pollinator, the "giogliaio" which is not to be found in any other Italian olive environment, a cultivation that is characterised by its considerable resistance at low temperatures.
The Seggiano Olivastra is reproduced by grafting. It is self-sterile and doesn't reproduce from seed. Only a few types of olives can fertilise it, the so-called "male" trees such as the "Frantoio", the "Moraiolo" and the "Correggiolo". Even then only 65% to 90% of its fruits develop successfully into trees.
In other areas of Amiata territory other olive varieties can be found, such as: Moraiolo, Leccino and Frantoio.; these varieties are widespread throughout Tuscany.
The area of production of Consorzio di Seggiano extends over the municipalities of Arcidosso, Castel del Piano, Seggiano, Cinigiano, Santa Fiora, Roccalbegna, Semproniano and parts of Castell'Azzara's territory.

The Consorzio - Consorzio Olio di Seggiano


Perfect holiday in Tuscany

Maremma hills

Located on top of a hill with spectacular views on the surrounding countryside and the Mediterranean sea, Podere Santa Pia is the ideal starting point for visiting Southern Tuscany.

[1] St. Philip Benizi (1233 - 1285 ) was a Servite cardinal and preacher. In 1233, St. Philip was born in Florence, Italy, to a noble family. As a young man, he was educated in Paris and Padua where he earned a doctorate in medicine and philosophy. He practiced medicine for some time, but in 1253 he joined the Servite Order in Florence. Hoping to remain a simple monk, he fudged the education part of his application, but eventually it came out, and he was pushed into increasing levels of authority, culminating in head of the order. He served as a lay brother until 1259, when his superiors directed him to be ordained.

St. Philip soon became known as one of the foremost preachers of his era, becoming master of novices at Siena in 1262 and then superior of several friaries and prior general of the Servites in 1267 against his own wishes.
Reforming the order with zeal and patience, he was named as a possible candidate to become pope by the influential Cardinal Ottobuoni just before the election to choose a successor to Pope Clement IV. This possibility was so distressing to the humble saint that he fled he fled into the mountains of southern Tuscany and hid in a cave until the election was finally over and Gregory X was chosen. The cave where he was hiding was named after him, Bagno San Filippo.

He attended the Council of Lyons which brought about a brief reunion with the Orthodox, worked to bring peace between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines in 1279, assisted St. Juliana in founding the third order of the Servites, and in 1284, dispatched the first Servite missionaries to the Far East. He retired to a small Servite house in Todi, where he died on August 22, 1285.The Church of the Servites of Mary in Todi, Umbria, contains the body of St Philip Benizi, whose statue is the work of Bernini.
He was canonized in 1671.
Felippo Benizi
Filippo Lippi, The Presentation in the Temple, with a portrait of Felippo Benizi