Sant’ Antimo and Montalcino
Sant'Antimo is steeped in magic. Legend has it that the founding of the Abbey goes back to no less a person than Charlemagne.
The Northern influence from Burgundy is clearly notable in the well-preserved abbey church with its beautifully carved column capitals.
Even on the approach, its situation in the valley just below Castel Nuovo dell'Abate puts the visitor in a contemplative mood. The sense of meditation is sustained by the community of monks, who hold Mass with Gregorian chants several times a day.
After the visit we drive to nearby Montalcino, 10 km to the north, which is now world-famous for its wine, the Brunello di Montalcino. Prior to its winemaking successes, Montalcino was the ultimate symbol of Italian republican principles. This is where the last representatives of the Republic of Siena withdrew after the conquest of the city in the 16th century, and where they resisted the Medici and Charles V of Spain for 4 more years. The city was never taken. The castle now houses a winery, where we take the opportunity to sample some of the local delicacies.
|ca. 50 km southwest of Siena, by own car
|165 € per group