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Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore


Duration 2 hours

  • I always wondered what persuaded Bernardo Tolomei, the founder of the abbey, to leave his  sumptuous town home, get rid of his large family patrimony and lead a hermit's life in a remote cave

  • The abbey is a gem set between the cliffs and gullies of the Crete Senesi

  • Architecture and nature are wonderfully mixed

  • The monastic complex is the Mother house of the Olivetans Benedictine congregation and holds unforgettable pages of Renaissance art

  • The frescoes by Signorelli and Sodoma describe in great detail  the life of St. Benedict of Norcia, who was the founder of Western monasticism and the patron saint of Europe

  • The wooden inlays of the choir by Fra Giovanni da Verona show the fascination of Renaissance artists for the laws of mathematics and geometry, perceived as a resonance of the divine in the world

  • During some liturgies it is possible to hear Gregorian chant 

  • Who are the men who currently decide to close the doors of the world behind them and lead a cloistered life?

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