Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore

Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore

Immersed in the wild and barren landscape of Crete Senesi is an 'oasis of greenery and peace. In this oasis, along an avenue of cypresses, there appears in all its grandeur the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. Borri surrounded by cliffs and is accessed through the drawbridge crenellated tower from which a statue of the Madonna seems to welcome visitors.

This abbey was built in the first half of the fourteenth century for the will of three members of the most prestigious houses senesi, the Tolomei and Piccolomini, who, wishing to leave the luxury and privileges which were intended for birth, withdrew in this isolated area, near Siena, adhering to Benedictine. Even at the architectural level, the structure of Monte Oliveto Maggiore reflects the traditional approach of the complex consisting of a Benedictine church, great cloister and one or more small cloister, a hall and a refectory capitulate. In addition to these environments, adorned with works of great artistic interest, the Abbey of Monte Oliveto has a large library and a large guest house where people will want to stay in comfortable rooms.

So if you are tired of the frenetic pace that daily life often requires a few days and you have available to take this opportunity to relax pausing at the abbey. Here you can relax enjoying the charm of this place, the serenity that emanates, drawing on the spirituality of the monks, enjoying the traditional dishes prepared in the restaurant attached to the abbey.


Built in the early fifteenth century and later restored at the end of the eighteenth century, the church has within it, in a blaze of decorations, columns, capitals, a beautiful choir carved by Brother John of Verona. In all, 125 stalls, variously decorated with scenic views, geometrical instruments, animals and more, arranged around a lectern inlaid from among Raffaele da Brescia.

Chiostro grande

This cloister, called great to distinguish it from the other two children, is the jewel in the crown the past. Built on several occasions, hosted on its walls a magnificent cycle of paintings narrating the episodes Key dellla life of St. Benedict, performed four hands by Luca Signorelli and Antonio Bazzi known as Sodoma. So that the frescoes were damaged by the action of weathering, the arcades were closed off with glass.


The large library of the monks of Monte Oliveto Maggiore includes incunabula, rare manuscripts and a version of Divine Comedy translated in verse Latin by Father Matthew Ronta.

Before you leave this locus amoenus you should make a stop at the 'emporium, where, alongside traditional postcards, illustrations, publications, you can buy pottery, liqueurs and other local products or herbal remedies made by the monks themselves who still follow the Benedictine rule commonly known as "ora et labora."

Opening Hours
Monday-Sunday: 9.15-12 and 15.15-17 (summer 18)


Phone 0577 707611
Fax 0577 707670

Getting there

  • By train
    Taking the line Florence-Rome has to make a change at Chiusi, in the direction of Asciano, and from there continue by taxi (0577 718273)
    Taking the line Florence-Siena-Grosseto you must go to Buonconvento from here and continue by taxi (0577 806094, 0577 806503)
  • By plane

Throughout the year: concerts of Gregorian chant