Monte Oliveto Maggiore (Tuscany): what to see


What to see in Monte Oliveto Maggiore, itinerary including Abbey and cloister with frescoes by Sodoma and Signorelli, church, library and pharmacy.

Tourist information

Ancient monastic center of the Olivetan Benedictines, founded by Bernardo Tolomei in 1313, Monte Oliveto Maggiore is included in the municipality of Asciano, positioned among the Crete Senesi in the province of Siena, from which it is 36 km south.

The fifteenth-century church, restored in the eighteenth century, has kept its facade and bell tower intact.

To the right of the church is the entrance to the monastery, just past which you reach the large double-loggia cloister.

In the portico there are frescoes by Signorelli and Sodoma, which reproduce 36 episodes taken from the life of San Benedetto.

Along the east and west sides you can admire nine frescoes painted at the end of the fifteenth century by Signorelli, while sixteenth-century frescoes by Sodoma are positioned on the north and south sides.

What see

Continuing first through a passage magnificently adorned with frescoes by Sodoma and then through an atrium where there is a sculpture of Fra Giovanni da Verona, you enter the church, inside which there are remarkable stalls in the choir, carved and inlaid in 1505 by Fra Giovanni from Verona.

In the left chapel there is a remarkable Crucifix dating back to 1200.

Leaving the large cloister you pass into the middle cloister, from where you reach the refectory, embellished with frescoes made by Fra Paolo Novelli at the end of the 1600s.

Through a staircase, embellished with a remarkable fresco by Sodom, having as its subject the Coronation of Mary, you enter the library.

The pharmacy where some 17th century vases are collected is interesting.


Tags: Tuscany