The Spirit of Camaldoli

Apart from the Sanctuary of La Verna, the Casentino Valley also features the Hermitage and Monastery of Camaldoli. The Camaldolese order was established at the beginning of the 11th century by St Romuald, a Benedictine monk who, during his pilgrimages, decided to stop in the upper Casentino Valley and to establish a new monastic order based on two main rules; the Benedictine rule of community life and the oriental rule of the hermit’s way of life.

The unspoiled beauty of the place is also in this case an extremely suggestive element, which is always very much appreciated by visitors coming from all over the world. Along the pathway leading from the Monastery to the Hermitage, it is often possible to see wild animals such as wild boars or roe deers crossing the street to reach the river and drink.

The aspect of art is extremely relevant also within these sites: the Hermitage hosts a church in the Neapolitan baroque style, which strikes the visitor because of the rich decorations completely contrasting with the austerity of the cells, whereas the Monastery church contains some works of art by Giorgio Vasari as a young artist, a world-known 16th-century versatile artist.

Another important aspect of the visit of the Monastery is the presence of the world-famous 15th-century Apothecary, which is nowadays still operative and offering products (both herbalist’s and gift products), which are prepared by the monks themselves for their livelihood.

Itinerary type: Spirituality and emotions