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Monte Oliveto Maggiore visit

  • Monte Oliveto Maggiore visit

    This wonderful working abbey is the perfect stopping point on the magical Crete Senesi route (see above). Founded in 1319, Monte Oliveto is one of the most mystical spots in Tuscany, half-hidden in the woods. The Olivetan monks live under Benedictine rule and still follow St Benedict’s precept that “a real monk is one who lives by his own labour,” and so produce their own liqueurs, wine and oil. The main cloister is covered in memorable frescoes depicting the Life of St Benedict, begun by Luca Signorelli in 1495 and completed by Sodoma from 1505. Sodoma's frescoes are exuberant and uninhibited, playfully focusing on such details as a mischievous smile or a soldier's perky buttocks.

    Web: www.monteolivetomaggiore.it

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