Between Siena and Massa Marittima there are the spectacular ruins of the San Galgano Abbey, which used to be one of the most important monasteries in Tuscany.
In 1180 the noble knight Galgano Guidotti became a Cistercian monk and made a chapel on Mount Siepi built for his lifelong spiritual quest. Other Cistercian monks enlarged the sacred building to honor Galgano, who became a saint in the meantime. In addition, after his death, the Hermitage of Montesiepi chapel - also called Rotonda due to its round shape - was built to keep intact the site where he had left his sword, stuck in a rock like the legendary Excalibur. Partially destroyed in 1330, the Abbey went through a long period of abandon and decline, but now it’s a beloved tourist site.
For visitors, the Abbey of San Galgano is open everyday from 9 am. The ticket is 3,50 euros, the reduced ticket costs 3 euros and entrance is free for children, disabled visitors and tour guides.
The Hermitage of Montesiepi is open daily from 9:00 am to sunset, free admission. Mass is held every Sunday morning at 11:30 am.