The Abbeys, Basilicas and Monasteries of the Tuscan countryside and villages are sometimes overlooked as we enthusiastically feast on the masterpieces in the churches of Florence, Sienna and the other “art” cities of Tuscany.
In fact there are abbeys (abbazie), basilicas (basiliche), monasteries (monasteri), hermitages (eremi) and parish churches (pievi) in every corner of Tuscany, many of them of great architectural beauty and interest, and often in wonderful locations. One or two, such as the Abbey of San Galgano, are ruins, but most are very well-preserved and often fulfilling their religious purposes to this day. Gregorian Chant may still be heard several times a day at Sant’Antimo and some monasteries offer accommodation. The beautiful Abbazia di Sant’Antimo (Abbey of Sant’Antimo) near Montalcino should not be missed if you are visiting the Val d’Orcia in Tuscany.
In my opinion, for history and architecture enthusiasts, the most underrate sight in Tuscany is the Abbey of Santa Mustiola, located near Torri in the Val di Merse. This is the only romanesque cloister in all of Tuscany and one of the most beautiful cloisters anywhere.
More about the Abbeys of Tuscany.