The history and architecture of this church make it one of the most outstanding examples of Romanesque construction it has been my pleasure to find in Italy. I had to just sit... read more
Laid down on one side of the mountain at 800 metres above the sea level,...
Laid down on one side of the mountain at 800 metres above the sea level, the abbazia re- gia del SS.mo Salvatore sul Monte Amiata was twinned with St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome by means of a “Sub umbra Petri” decree. There- fore people can gain plenary indulgence here. It was established by Erfo - a Lombard noble- man from Friuli - in the fi rst half of the 8th century, namely at the time of king Ratchis. On the one side, the nobleman wanted to evangelize the people who lived on the moun- tain and, on the other, he wanted to moni- tor the ancient road that crossed the Val di Paglia and that later would be known as Via Francigena.
Like other royal abbeys of Lom- bard age, San Salvatore had a close relation- ship with the development of the route that linked Pavia to Rome. In Carolingian times, the abbey numbered about 100 monks and
Charlemagne in person stopped over at the abbey in year 800, when his army was hit by plague; the monks healed his soldiers with a medicinal plant that was called Carolina from that moment on. The abbey, whose estate spanned from southern Tuscany to northern Latium, was in charge for the arrangement of the route.