Camaldoli: The Monastery, founded in 980 by Count Ravenna Maldolo, residing in Arezzo, was donated to San Romualdo, a native of Ravenna. The Saint gathered some disciples there and gave life to one of the most important cenacles of the monastic life of Christendom, still the official seat of the Camaldolese congregation. Built to complete the Hermitage, which rises a few kilometers higher, the Monastery has gradually expanded over the centuries. It continues to be the prestigious home of a religious and cultural center of considerable importance, very active. It was the seat of a humanist academy in the 400s in which Lorenzo the Magnificent and Leon Battista Alberti participated. The monks, who live in the Monastery closely follow the contemporary social reality, respecting the spirit of their founder, in a continuous work of spiritual research and updating with respect to contemporary social and political problems. The sixteenth-century monastery rises to 818 m in height, wrapped in the forest of conifers, chestnut trees, larches and linden trees, near the active sources that gave the name of fontebona (good fountain) to the place, on the banks of one of the two branches of the Archian sung by Dante in Purgatory. In the library, open for consultation, more than 30,000 precious volumes are collected.
Hermitage: Two steep paved roads leading to the Hermitage leave from the Monastery of Camaldoli. The pedestrian path rises between the fir and beech forest up to 1111 m in height. Along it are the Chapel of the Madonna of the snow, that of San Romualdo, the three crosses that are reflected in a tiny excavated pond (first half of the 15th century) for the cultivation of fish. In the Church the monks gather in prayer four times a day, the faithful can also be present. Periodic meetings, under the guidance of the prior, for the verification of the journey of faith. Ecclesial and cultural animation, always together with the guests, the same as those of the Monastery of Camaldoli, celebrated in common. After the Vatican council, according to the Camaldolese community, it also developed here the traditional commitment to ecumenical and interreligious hospitality. Production of honey, herbal teas, beauty creams, jams.
Abazia San Fedele Poppi: The Badia (or Abbey) of San Fedele in Poppi with the adjoining Vallombrosan monastery dates back to the 12th century and is one of the most important architectural complexes in Poppi for the history and art of the place. From the monastery of San Fedele, adjacent to the church, suppressed during the nineteenth century, came San Torello da Poppi, a Vallombrosan monk and patron of Poppi, of which a precious reliquary bust in gold and silver is still preserved inside the Church,a masterpiece of sacred jewelry. For those who walk up to Poppi, through the ancient medieval climb, it will be impossible not to notice the Badia di San Fedele, a typical building of the Vallombrosan monks, with a Latin cross plan, a single nave, a wooden ceiling and three chapels. The works contained within the abbey of San Fedele form a small museum of sacred art, which houses a Madonna with Child and two angels of the so-called Master of the Magdalene, the Madonna with Child by Jacopo Ligozzi, a large Crucifix by Giotto style, tempera on wood of the XIV century, depicting the Christ with the bent head.
The sanctuary of Chiusi della Verna: It is one of the most sacred places for world Christianity. It was in fact September of the year of the Lord 1224 when, at the beloved Shrine, St. Francis received the Gift of the Stigmata. This sacred place of the Casentino whose notoriety goes far beyond the narrow confines of this Tuscan valley and its surroundings since La Verna is visited every year by hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world. In this sacred mountain stands the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, the first church of the place erected in a rudimentary form by St. Francis and his first followers; the Basilica Maggiore built between the 15th and 16th centuries; the Corridor of the Stigmata where 22 frescoes by Baccio Maria Bacci portray the life of St. Francis and where the engaging Procession of the Hour IX takes place every day at 3 pm; the cave called “the bed of St. Francis”; the Chapel of the Stigmata built around 1260 by the Counts Guidi of Poppi on the exact spot where San Francesco had received the Stigmata; the short but spectacular passage on the cliff precipice; the evocative Sasso Spicco. La Verna, as already mentioned, is a place of art. In particular, it is rich in refined Della Robbia terracottas. One of Andrea Della Robbia’s masterpieces is preserved in the basilica, the Annunciation. In 2002 Il Museo della Verna was reopened. In seven splendid halls a great deal of sacred, cultural and scientific material is preserved and many objects of daily use in the life of the Franciscan monastery.