Abbey of Sant'Antimo

Only 9 km from Montalcino, one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in Italy, the Abbey of Sant'Antimo, stands in solitary splendour.
According to legend, it is on the site of an ancient chapel built to the orders of Charlemagne in 781

In fact, the abbey, an extraordinary example of Romanesque architecture in French-Lombard style, was built in the 12th and 13th centuries by Abbot Azzo dei Porcari.
The facade, with remains of a portico, seems to be incomplete. The entrance has a high arch, and bas-relief decorations.
Particularly interesting is the small doorway to the left; this dates back to the 9th century. Also on this side is the Bell Tower, with single-light and double-light windows.

The tower also seems never to have been completed. One of the bells dates back to 1219. The pre-Romanesque primitive chapel is visible on the right. The interior has three naves separated by high columns, alternated with pilasters in clusters in the lower part and twin lancet galleries above.
The capitals in marble from the nearby Castelnuovo quarry are decorated with floral, human and geometric figures. The apse has radial chapels joined by an ambulatory, as in French Cathedrals.
Inside there are fragments of marble sculpture, and some 15th century frescoes. The late mediaeval crypt is also fascinating, with the sacristy, divided into three smaller naves and an apse.

 

Siena Roselle San Galgano Montepulciano San Gimignano Abbazia di S. Antimo Castiglion della Pescaia Montalcino Chiusdino

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