Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore

Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Asciano

Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore

Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore
4.5
Historic Sites • Religious Sites
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Toscoantico
Pisa, Italy8 contributions
Serenity, History, Art and Harmony, Val d'Orcia at its best.
Sep 2020
With my family we visited the abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore in September 2020 during our holidays in Val d'Orcia and this place, together with others such as the Temple of San Biagio, the Chapel of Vitaleta, the abbey of Sant ' Antimo, the gentle hills with the little big gems on the top, will remain one of the most beautiful images in my mind. The abbey is located in a pine forest with beautiful surroundings, the structure itself is very beautiful and the atmosphere is very serene. The abbey is still functioning according to the Benedictine rule and therefore it is not possible to visit it entirely but the part that can be visited is definitely worth. In addition, the visit is free, a non-binding offer may be requested.
The Cloister of the Abbey contains the most important work of art of the complex, a cycle of frescoes on the stories of San Benedetto painted both by Luca Signorelli (the first 8 lunettes 1497-1498) and by Antonio Bazzi known as Sodoma, a curious nickname , (the remaining 26 lunettes painted after 1505). You can also visit the church, the refectory, the library and the pharmacy of the monastery plus a small exhibition of paintings from various periods. Serenity, History, Art and Harmony, Val d'Orcia at its best.
Written 17 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kathryn H
Sonoma, CA428 contributions
Incredible historic site
May 2019 • Couples
This is an important site, established in the 13th century. Visiting Monte Oliveto is an experience that should not be missed. The church is beautiful, the cloisters are calm and cool, and the grounds are serene.
The big cities of Rome and Florence can be difficult when you consider the big crowds of tourists. With all the lines and people, it is easy to lose sight of the true majesty of what Italy has to offer.
Monte Oliveto is off the beaten track - which is exactly why you should go. See this piece of Italy in the environment in which it should be seen - with few tourists and in peaceful splendor.
Written 25 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

E Incerto
41 contributions
Amazing!!!!!
Oct 2019
My favorite church during our 3 week trip. Gregorian monks still have service and chant. The frescoes are beautiful, the grounds and the chapel. Truly a visit that could last several hours.
Written 31 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Robert W
Avon, OH75 contributions
Art dense, serene monastery on a forested cliff side
Oct 2019 • Couples
When you’re in Rome or Florence, the big sites are beautiful, but you have to deal with crowds. Lots of crowds. The joy of visiting Monte Oliveto is that you have the place to yourself. I’m not saying the odd tour bus doesn’t arrive once in a while, but we were there between 9 and 10 in the morning and there weren’t a half dozen visitors. Here you get the big name artists with no pressure.

You have the frescoes by Signorelli and Sodoma in situ. There’s a church and choir with the complicated inlaid wood. You can wander the woods and find the side chapels. It’s rare to use words such as tranquil or serene , but the place is simply beautiful with cliffs, trees and quiet.

In between Brunello tastings, detour here for a hour or two.
Written 19 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

palmpirate
British Columbia, Canada554 contributions
Huge monastery with so much history.
Oct 2019 • Friends
It is incredible to visit this huge abbey and realize that it still operates under the Benedictine rule. The church is so vast and so beautiful. The cloisters that they take you round are decorated with murals that tell stories and remind the monks of their history and calling. Really amazing. We visited the library and had the structure of the ceiling below explained to us.....and saw old apothecary instruments. Unreal to think with today’s labs that that was what they used. Glad I am living today but glad that so much history is preserved so we can better appreciate our advances in knowledge....
Definitely a must visit if you are in this part of the world.
Written 17 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

sodesa
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam766 contributions
Visit during Sunday morning Benedictine Mass at the Abbey
Oct 2019
Had looked forward to visiting this monastery, and listening to the Gregorian chant.

I was disappointed, & found the service underwhelming; perhaps partly by the participation of largely tourists. It is quite a walk back up to the carpark, which is an arduous 15 minute walk away. Given that this monastery is also somewhat off the beaten track : a good 45 minutes drive from Torrita de Siena (admittedly scenic drive); in my opinion, it’s not worth the effort
Written 11 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ronpm
Greeneville, TN14 contributions
Delicious wine, beautiful setting, friendly monks
Jul 2019
We stopped by specifically to taste their wines. Carlos served us and was so kind and pleasant to speak with. We were in Italy two weeks, all around Chianti and Montalcino, yet these were the best wines we tasted. In fact, we brought back ten bottles, the only wine we brought back.
Written 17 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ray W
108 contributions
Fascinating peaceful place. Excellent fresco
Jul 2019 • Solo
I visited whilst my wife was on a course for the day. Arrived around 10.00am. It was open but very quiet. Peaceful surroundings in a beautiful pine forest above very steep cliffs. The monks ask for quiet and don’t really interact in any way. The church is very beautiful and the surrounding fresco are some if the best I have seen in Italy. The library and museum are worth a visit too.
There is no charge to enter any of the monastery or museum but you can leave donations.
There is a small car park if you follow the road all the way to the bottom. There is a car park at the Torre as you first arrive which is very inexpensive. The walk down is pretty but if you have any issues or elderly folk then take the road down not the old path.
The cafe at the Torre is the only refreshment option but very nice.
Written 10 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mike and Maria B
Thirroul, Australia349 contributions
Fascinating experiences in a working monastery
Jul 2019 • Couples
We only learned about this amazing Benedictine monastery from someone who had visited some time ago – and were so glad we made the effort to get there.
The extensive, impressive abbey is tucked away in quiet forested hills, but easily accessible by car.
Entry to the church, library and courtyard with wonderful frescoes showing the life of St Benedict, is free (donations welcomed). The Benedictines earn money from the sale of their memorable wines, olive oil, and various potions, books etc. in the 'farmacia'. Unfortunately, we missed the Gregorian chants – but will be hoping to return for those in the future.
Highly recommended.
Written 5 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amy F
14 contributions
In time to hear the monks sing!
Feb 2019
We were one of three other families there on a rainy misty morning. We began looking around unsure of what the protocol would be there. A gentleman lighting the candles motioned to us to follow him and we did. He showed us the dining room, an apothecary and a room full of ancient books. Then he motioned (he didn't speak any English) for us to stand by a doorway. Sure enough the we could hear singing and the monks walked thorough the abbey swinging incense and singing. I had goosebumps and tears.

The art was amazing too. Finished off with a glass of wine and a slice of cake at the cafe to plan our next stop.
Written 2 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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