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So much history

You can not help but be filled with nostalgia at the Abbey of San Galgano for years gone by, so many stories, so much history. 

Parts of Andrei Tarkovskys 1983 film Nostalghia were shot at San Galgano
Parts of Andrei Tarkovskys 1983 film Nostalghia were shot at San Galgano

The Abbey of San Galgano is not the only sight of interest at this location. Just outside the Abbey, there are signs toward the Hermitage of Monte Siepi in memory of San Galgano’s death in 1181. Legend has it that San Galgano embedded his sword in stone as a show of his new life in faith and peace.

Through the centuries

Construction began around 1220 and was completed some six decades later when it allied with the Republic of Siena. Sadly, the republic failed to protect it from roving condottiere and the monastery was despoiled beginning 1363. Only the abbot remained towards the end of the 14th-century. The fell of the campanile took the roof of the church with it.

Thankfully the Abbey’s chapter house, part of the scriptorium, its windows, and an apse rose window still stand.

The Rotonda chapel was restored in 1924
Abbey of San Galgano's Rotonda chapel was restored in 1924

Family-friendly place of interest

A small playground, coffee, cakes, drinks, and snacks are available at the wine bar on the downhill paved road. A perfect spot to relax, take photos of the beautiful views, and then embark on your way back home.

In 1786 the roof collapsed and the ruins were looted for building material
In 1786 the Abbey's roof collapsed and the ruins were looted for building material
Restoration occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries
Abbey of San Galgano's restoration occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries

Things to do in nearby Siena

Plan your trip to the Abbey of San Galgano

San Galgano, the first gothic church built in Tuscany, is about 35km south of Siena and you can reach it by car. There is parking available just before the beautiful alley of cypresses, so you have about a 2-minute walk to the actual ruins.

Hours & Entrance Fee

At 3€ per ticket you can visit the Abbey from 09h00 until 19h00, except for:

  • November to March it closes at 17h30; and
  • April, May, and October it closes at 18h00.

Nearest airport

Florence Airport (FLR) to Abbey of San Galgano will take you about 90 minutes by car and is about 101 km from each other.

An alternative airport but a slightly longer route is Pisa (PSA). By car, the 158 km trip via the E80 should take you about 2 hours.

Where to stay

Check it out! The LATEST PRICES AND GETAWAY DEALS, or go to BOOKING.COM for more of the best places to stay.

With Siena a mere 35 km away, our choice of where to stay is in Siena.