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Abbeys, basilicas and churches

Badia a Coltibuono: a monastery transformed into a villa-farm

The vallombrosana abbey of San Lorenzo a Coltibuono was founded around year thousands, it lived its maximum moment of glory between the 11th and the 12th century: but already in the successive century it began the decline. Even if in 15th century it had an ulterior development under the patronage of Lorenzo de’Medici. The Abbey remained property of the vallombrosani ...

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Church of San Biagio: the masterpiece of Antonio da Sangallo the Elder

The Church or the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Biagio is located at the foot of the hill of Montepulciano, in the bottom of a driveway lined with cypress trees. The church was built by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder between 1518 and 1545 and is a masterpiece of the sixteenth century. The origin of the church of San ...

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Badia a Conèo: a Romanesque church in the surroundings of Colle Val d’Elsa

Just behind Colle Alta, we reach the junction at Le Grazie, here we take the provincial road No. 27 in the direction of Casole d’Elsa, after just over a kilometer, turn on the right on a small road bounded by two cypresses indicating Badia a Conèo. We continues for a couple of km until on the left you come to ...

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Abbey of Sant’Antimo: a masterpiece of Tuscan Romanesque

The Abbey of Saint Antimo is located about 18 km from Montalcino, near Castelnuovo dell’Abate. To get there take the road that from Montalcino goes toward Seggiano and Monte Amiata, shortly before arriving in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, turn right and you soon reach the Abbey. Sant’Antimo is truly a beautiful abbey built in travertine, beautiful is also the landscape that surronds it, ...

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Abbey of San Galgano: one of the most important Gothic-Cistercian abbeys in Italy

The Abbey of San Galgano is easily to reach from Siena taking the state road n.73 in direction of Rosia and Frosini. Four kilometers before arriving to Monticiano turn to right on road n.441 for Massa Marittima and after 2 kilometers turn on the left for the road that leads to the Abbey. The remains of this abbey, with Latin ...

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Collegiate Church of San Quirico d’Orcia: a masterpiece of Romanesque

The building most interesting and enjoyable of San Quirico d’Orcia is undoubtedly the magnificent collegiate or parish church of Osenna (Saints Quirico and Giulitta), the church is starting out from the eighth century, but the current structure dates from the twelfth or thirteenth century. The oldest part seems to be that corresponding to the facade and in particular the main ...

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Pieve of Sant’Appiano: a Romanesque church in Val d’Elsa

To reach the Pieve of Sant’Appiano from Barberino Val d’Elsa, coming from Tavarnelle Val di Pesa you through the entire village of Barberino and near the end of the village turn right towards Linari, after about one km, turn left to Sant’Appiano-Linari, still a 1 km and you reach the Pieve of Sant’Appiano. The existence of Sant’Appiano can be traced starting ...

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Basilica of San Francesco: the Bacci Chapel and the frescoes of the Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca

The Basilica of San Francesco faces on the square of the same name that is located halfway between the cathedral square and the walls, in the center of the square is the monument to Vittorio Fossombroni. The Basilica of San Francesco is characterized by a bare facade, unfinished, made from sandstone and brick. The church – and the adjacent convent – was founded ...

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Abbadia a Isola: a medieval abbey along the Via Francigena

Abbadia a Isola is a small interesting medieval village, it’s lies just 4 km from Monteriggioni along the road to Colle Val d’Elsa. The small village, built around the Cistercian Abbey of San Salvatore, which was founded here in the tenth century, was in medieval times, a stopping place for pilgrims along the Via Francigena. Here was founded in the early eleventh ...

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Church of Santa Maria del Carmine: the Brancacci Chapel the masterpiece of Masaccio

The Church of Santa Maria del Carmine was begun in 1268, and unfortunately damaged by fire in 1771. The interior has a nave, and was re-decorated in the eighteenth century after the fire. Fortunately the fire spared the absolute masterpiece of the church which requires anyone visiting Florence a visit to this church: the beautiful Brancacci Chapel, a masterpiece of ...

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Basilica of Santa Croce: the most beautiful Italian Gothic church

The great square on which overlooks the Basilica of Santa Croce is surrounded by some buildings of historical interest such as the Palace dell’Antella (seventeenth century) – with beautiful frescoes by Giovanni da San Giovanni and Filippo Napoletano – and the Palazzo Cocchi Serristori (XVI century) by Baccio d’Agnolo. The Basilica of Santa Croce is the principal Franciscan church in ...

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Tomb of Michelangelo Buonarroti, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence

Michelangelo’s Tomb is a work of Vasari (1570) and it’s found at the beginnig of the right aisle of the church of Santa Croce, just inside the main door of the Basilica. Above the tomb are three sculptures representing the personifications of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, saddened by the death of the great master, but the whole of the tomb ...

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Florence Baptistery: the oldest monument in the Piazza del Duomo in Florence

The oldest monument in the Piazza del Duomo, is situated right in front of the facade of Florence Cathedral and is the Baptistery of San Giovanni. A first building was built already in the fifth or sixth century, this served as a baptistery and should already be octagonal as the present one. In the mid-eleventh century, the baptistery was reconstructed ...

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Orsanmichele: a church built in the ancient grain market of Florence

Originally, in the area where it is today Orsanmichele was the oratory of San Michele in Orto, which was demolished in 1239. In its place, around 1290, Arnolfo di Cambio built a loggia for the sale of grain, then according to tradition the image of the Madonna painted on a pillar began to make miracles, and the place became a ...

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Giotto’s bell tower: the most eloquent testimony of Florentine Gothic architecture of the fourteenth century

Giotto’s Campanile is the bell tower of Florence Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The bell tower is located off to the right of the cathedral, the unusual position of the tower, aligned with the facade, reflects the desire to give to it a great importance. The bell tower is so named because the project and the realization of the ...

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Brunelleschi’s Dome: the largest masonry dome ever built by man

The famous Brunelleschi’s dome is the coverage of the crossing of Florence Cathedral and is the largest masonry dome ever built by man, with its 45.5 meter diameter, while the exterior is 54 meters. The impost, which stands 35.50 meters above the tambour is approximately 54 meters from the ground, the weight of the dome is estimated at 37,000 tonnes, ...

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Florence Cathedral: the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

The construction of the Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, was started by Arnolfo di Cambio on 8th September 1296. On the death of Arnolfo in 1310, work was proceeding slowly, with delays in relation to the roadmap and on his death were interrupted. The work was again resumed in 1331, when the merchants of the Arte della ...

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Basilica of San Miniato al Monte: a masterpiece of Tuscan Romanesque in Florence

The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte rises on a hill to south-east of the historical center of Florence, near Piazzale Michelangelo, and is considered one of the finest examples of Florentine Romanesque style. Built between the eleventh and the thirteenth century, contains works of great value as the chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal, and in the sacristy the ...

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Pieve di Gropina: one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Tuscany

The Pieve of Gropina, is located about 2 km from Loro Ciuffenna, on the Via dei Sette Ponti (road of the Seven Bridges) towards San Giustino, to get there take a detour to the right, which after 800 metres from the junction leading to the village of Gropina. The beautiful Romanesque church of Pieve of San Pietro or Gropina, is ...

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