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Abbey of Sant'Antimo, Tuscany, Italy

The Abbey of Sant'Antimo (Abbazia di Sant'Antimo) near Montalcino is located in the most beautiful place of Tuscany. Standing with your back to the church you can see the surrounding hills with olive trees and vines. These views are priceless. Abbey is characterized by the simplicity, but its beauty is breathtaking. The church is made of stone with a timber framed roof. Inside you can see the heads of columns topped by great figures carved in stone.

The access and parking at the Sant'Antimo Abbey

First, we visited the town of Montalcino, and then went to the abbey. It is about 10 kilometers away from Montalcino, so the way took not more than 15 minutes. We drove Strada Provinciale della Badia di Sant'Antimo/SP 55 and then we turned right at the intersection (A; GPS 42.994840, 11.519637). A very good asphalt road led to the paid parking (P; GPS: 43.000660, 11.517329).

The abbey buildings

The abbey is located about 100 meters from the parking lot; a fairly wide road leads to it. The buildings are located in the agricultural landscape of Tuscany. When we walked to the abbey, on the right side of the road the agricultural works took place - the land was plowing. For this purpose, a tractor was used, but it was a special tractor, it looked more like a bulldozer :) The furrows were enormous, too.

But let's go back to the abbey - it consists of a church (B; GPS: 42.999634, 11.515382) and additional buildings (C; GPS: 42.999219, 11.515390) in which the monks live and work. At the abbey there is also a garden and olive growing.

The church itself is very old - it probably dates from the 9th century, from the time of Charlemagne. Certainly it was not built later than in the 12th century, because the date 1118 is on the column and the step of the altar. The interior is quite austere, but mysterious and therefore makes a unique impression. Lots of interesting animal and plant motifs. Alabaster walls. On the outer front wall there is a characteristic twelfth-century bas-relief of two stylized lions holding each other's paw.

The church can be visited throughout the day, but some of its elements are available only from 10:30 to 12:30 and from 15:00 until 18:30. At certain, specific hours, the monks living in the abbey take part in the services and then it is impossible to visit the church, but you can listen to Gregorian chants and join the prayers.

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