Born to welcome the monks and pilgrims of the Via Francigena,
they are artistic treasures of rare beauty
San Lorenzo a Linari is a place with many souls; today a historic residence, in the past a patrician village and a place of spirituality.
In fact, in its past it seems that it was also a monastery of nuns.
The structure, work of the architect Baldassarre Peruzzi, was already born with a loggia, perhaps inspired by the place where Peruzzi was born in 1480, Ancaiano, where there was an abbey with a cloister.
There are no certain proofs, but the hypothesis appears entirely plausible; Tuscany is in fact one of the regions of Italy richest in monasteries, thanks also to the presence of the Via Francigena which attracted many pilgrims who then needed hospitality.
In the town of San Lorenzo, guests can now spend pleasant moments of holiday in complete relaxation. They can also easily reach several other monasteries with ancient cloisters: some are perfectly preserved, while of others, remain only a few ruins that bear witness to a past rich in history, all to be discovered.
A few kilometers from the town it is possible to visit the Pieve di Ponte allo Spino, a complex built by the Vallombrosan monks between the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the following one.
Today only a part of the thirteenth-century cloister remains, also called the “chiostrino”.
One of the most famous cloisters is certainly that of Torri, also known as the Pieve di Santa Mustiola.
The original nucleus dates back to the 11th century, but the three orders of arches were built at different times.
The first order, Romanesque and polychrome, is striking for the richness of the decorations. The second order, probably built between the 13th and 14th centuries, is in terracotta, while the third order, which is assumed to date back to the end of the 14th century, is made of wood.
Although completely destroyed in the eighteenth century, today we find a faithful reconstruction of the cloister of the Cistercian Abbey of San Galgano: a few minutes from San Lorenzo a Linari stands the monumental “open-air church” in the middle of the Val di Merse. The famous mystery-legend of the sword in the stone. The cloister developed on the right side and was at the heart of the abbey’s activity: what we see dates back to the early twentieth century, when it was decided to reconstruct some arches with native materials, which allow us to imagine their original beauty.
The Hermitage of Lecceto, an Augustinian monastery still active today, the imposing Vallombrosa abbey, inside which there is a cloister, and the monastery of Sant’Eugenio are also perfectly preserved.
Places of prayer, peace and art, where ingenuity was entirely at the service of the divine.