Sant'Antimo Abbey
Between legend and reality

In Castelnuovo dell’Abate, about 10 kilometers by car from the center of Montalcino, is the beautiful abbey of Sant’Antimo.

It is a former Benedictine convent built in Tuscan Romanesque style, dating back to the 12th century, used until 1500 and then abandoned by the monks until a few years ago. Dedicated to Sant’Antimo, who according to some was a priest imprisoned under Diocletian, according to others a martyred deacon from Arezzo, is located in the open countryside and its imposing complex is really beautiful to see.

According to legend, however, the abbey was founded by Charlemagne in 781. The king and his army stopped here on the way back from Rome because the soldiers were afflicted by an unknown plague. An angel appeared to Charlemagne, telling him to make his soldiers drink an infusion prepared with a local herb. The cure worked and the army was saved, so the king decided to build the church as a sign of thanks.

When you enter the abbey, its solemn and severe atmosphere will take you back in time to the Middle Ages and the austere monastic world. During the mass you can still hear the mystical Gregorian chants sung by French monks in long white robes.
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