Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The abbey of San Galgano

I was here in October last year. I was on my way from Montepulciano to San Gimignano. Have you been there?


We had decided that the drive to San Galgano would be a perfect day trip on the way to San Gimignano. As we neared the abbey the roads narrowed and the trees pressed in – chestnuts, blackberry thickets, pines, olives and all manner of deciduous trees blanketed the undulating hills of the terrain we were passing through. The drive was enchanting.


On arrival, I could see the beautiful circular chapel up on the hillside above the abbey with a sword embedded in a stone inside it. Alongside it were six large pheasants in the newly ploughed field, with burnished coppery brown plumage.

It’s eerie to stand at the entrance, with the crows cawing desolately as they fly through the roofless abbey and in and out the paneless windows. The circular chapel has a sword embedded in the stone inside it.


There's so much to see and think about when you are there. It's an evocative place. I've never seen anything quite like it. It was an unforgettable experience and a memorable drive through the deeply forested Tuscan countryside.


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