Abbadia d'Ombrone

Abbazia di Vallombrosa

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Il Vittoriale degli Italiani


 
Gardens in Tuscany
             
 
Abbazia di Vallombrosa

album Surroundings
       
   

Abbey of Vallombrosa | Abbazia di Vallombrosa


   
   

The Benedictine abbey of Vallombrosa is definitely worth a visit. Not only the abbey is a marvellous piece of architecture but it’s also an oase of peace surrounded by beautiful nature.

Abbazia di Vallombrosa is a Benedictine abbey in the comune of Reggello in Tuscany, c. 30 km south-east of Florence, in the Apennines, surrounded by forests of beech and firs.
It was founded by Giovanni Gualberto, a Florentine noble, in 1038 and became the mother house of the Vallumbrosan Order.
Giovanni Gualberto, monk of San Miniato, reached Vallombrosa in 1036. The forest of chestnut trees, silver fir and beach trees immediately became the destination of pilgrimage for clergymen and laymen, attracted by the rigid monastic life led and preached by Giovanni Gualberto. Already in 1039, the abbess Itta donated the land to build the monastery and church, consecrated in 1051, while in 1055 Pope Victor II recognised the Benedictine Congregation of Vallombrosa.
Even if Florence annexed the monastery in 1280, it kept its autonomy and its own statute.
Reconstructed around the mid 15th century by the abbot Francesco Altoviti, the monastery grew very rich through the centuries, becoming between the 17th and 18th century an important point of reference for scientific culture in Tuscany. It appears that around 1578, by order of his father, Galileo Galilei sojourned here, perhaps as a novice.
The Vallombrosans conducted weather observations for the Medici weather station network (1654-1667), the first to be instituted in Europe. Botanical studies were also important. Quite noteworthy between the 17th and 18th century was the activity of Virgilio Falugi and, especially, of Bruno Tozzi, friend of the great botanist Pier Antonio Micheli, and correspondent of the major botanists of Europe. Tozzi and other monks studied and depicted the vegetal species of the region with great ability.
The monastery has its own business life based on timber trade and livestock farming. In the XVI century, the rich and powerful convent of Vallombrosa caught the attention of the Spanish troops during their presence in Tuscany. In the second half of the XVI century, the abbey started to thrive again and it was also restored. The congregation of the Vallombrosiani was suppressed in the Napoleonic age, when the French emperor initiated his fight against the religious brotherhoods, but it recuperated its properties in 1818. Later on, after the Unity of Italy, a second abolition of all the orders was settled. the monastery was repristinated in 1815, and then transferred to the State in 1866 as headquarters of the National Forestry Institute. The Benedictine monks returned to Vallombrosa only after World War II.

 

   
   

 

 
A plaque that commemorates a visit from Dante


The Arboretum of Vallombrosa is a wooded area that is located in Reggello. The arboretum of Vallombrosa, which ranks as Italy's most important collection of plants cultivated for scientific and experimental purposes, currently holds approximately 5,000 specimens, subdivided into over 700 species of trees and shrubs. Founded in 1870 by Adolfo di Berenger, the first director of the Forestry Institute, it stands on silica ground in an area where chestnut trees give way to beech trees. Today's arboretum is divided into seven smaller "arboreta", created in different periods, each named after the curators who have been in charge from the year of its foundation to the present day: Arboreto di Berenger (1870), Arboreto Siemoni (1880), Arboreto Tozzi (1886), Arboreto Perona (1914), Arboreto Gellini (1894), Arboreto Pavari (1923-1958), Arboreto Allegri (1976).

Address Vallombrosa Abbey
Via San Benedetto, 2
50066 Vallombrosa FI

Address Arboreto di Vallombrosa
Via del Paradisino
50066 Vallombrosa FI
www.selvicoltura.org
Tel.: 055862008
Opening hours: daily by appointment


 
   


 


For cyclists: you can reach the top of the Vallombrosa (1000 m) starting from Tosi or Pietrapiana but the climb from Tosi is definitely the most difficult.

Reggello International Festival of Contemporary & Classical Music | Artistic Director - Gwyn Pritchard | www.reggellofestival.org

In 2003 Gwyn Pritchard founded the Reggello International Festival of Contemporary & Classical Music in Tuscany, and as Artistic Director invited ensembles and soloists from many parts of the world to participate, often programming music which is seldom heard in Italy. He also directed the RIF Composers' Competition, hosted by the festival. In 2008, to mark his sixtieth birthday, Pritchard was one of very few composers represented in a major concert series in Florence to celebrate Elliott Carter's hundredth birthday; and the same organisers have continued to include Pritchard's work in their summer concert series in Florence in subsequent years.

Art in Tuscany | Dante


Villa is Tuscany

Located on the outskirts of Castiglioncello Bandini, in a hilly and unspoilt land, Podere Santa Pia is one of the best places to slow traveling in Tuscany. This formal cloister offers the quiet tranquility of a private retreat, with numerous attractions, beautiful nature reserves and unspoilt beautiful beaches within easy reach. The most interesting artistic, historical and cultural sites of southern Tuscany are nearby, and are awaiting your discovery.

Farmhouses in Tuscany | Podere Santa Pia

 
   

Podere Santa Pia
Podere Santa Pia, garden
L'eremo di Montesiepi (the Hermitage of Montesiepi)

 


Travel guide Tuscany

       
Reggello extends from the north-western side of the mountains of the Pratomagno to the higher Valdarno, about 25 km southeast of Florence.
The place name comes from the Latin word "rege" with reference to some "Longbard properties".
The first settlements in the territory of Reggello go back to the Etruscan and Roman Ages but the real consolidation of the village occurred during the Middle Ages, specifically between the X-th and the XI-th centuries.
From the end of the XIII-th century to the beginning of the XIV-th century Reggello was under the jurisdiction of the powerful city of Florence that, taking in account the strategic position of Reggello at the junction of two important roads, the "Via del Casentino" and the "Via Vetus", fortified the village by erecting an imposing ring of walls.
The most famous point of interest is the Abbey of Vallombrosa, located in the famous Vallombrosa forest, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the city's downtown.
In 1966, 7 people were killed and a neighborhood of Reggello was destroyed by a landslide triggered by the same rains that also flooded Florence.

Figline Valdarno rises between the slopes of the Chianti hills and the left bank of the Arno river. The place name comes from a compound name by the Latin word "Figalinae" with the meaning of "potter or argil mine" and the specification of "Valdarno" took in 1863 for the position of the town along the Arno river. The first settlements in the area of Figline Valdarno go back to the Stone Age, as testified by the numerous finds came to light in the area. During the Roman period, the village became an important agricultural centre; however, the real consolidation of the residential settlements in the area of Figline Valdarno started around the XI-th century by building a castle, that belonged to the Uberti's family, and the first parishes.
In 1250 the city of Florence invaded the territory of Figline Valdarno and destroyed the castle. Entered the Florentine orbit, Figline Valdarno was fortified in order to face up to the continuous attacks by the Ghibellines against the Florentine Republic and thus in 1356 Florence started the building of an imposing ring of walls and a urban plane consisting of three important roads that connected the town to the cities of Florence, Arezzo and Siena.
In the next century, under the Medici's domination, Figline valdarno became the "Florence's barn".
Among the most important monument to see rhere, do not miss to visit the Collegiata Church of St. Maria, the Church of St. Francis, the Church of St. Biagio and the Pretorian Palace.

The main A1 passes very near Reggello, the nearest exit being Incisa Valdarno.
The nearest railway station is Figline Valdarno with a bus connection to Reggello. The same bus service runs between Florence and Reggello.