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Abbadia San Salvatore, Province of Siena, Tuscany

This renowned summer and winter resort is situated amid thick chestnut woods along the eastern slope of Mount Amiata, a now inactive volcano of the Quaternary. The town takes its name from an ancient powerful Benedictine abbey, and until about the 1950's was known also for its mercury extraction site.

Info

  • Altitude: 822 mt a.s.l
  • Population: about 7,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 53021
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0577
  • Patron Saint: St. Marco, celebrated on 19 September.
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Provinces of Tuscany

History

The Abbey was founded in 743 by Lombard king Rathis, and entrusted to Benedictine monks, then in 1203 passed under the Cistercians and was finally suppressed in 1783. For over 1000 years the abbey exerted its power in the area, often in contrast with the Aldobrandeschi family. In the last 2 centuries the history of the place rotated around the mines extracting mercury, which were finally closed a couple of decades ago.

What to see

  • The remains of the Abbey of San Salvatore, consisting today of the church, under whose floor is an ancient crypt of the 8th century AD; the church has inside frescoes by G. Nasini and a fine crucifix of the 12th century
  • The typical medieval borough, with gothic and Renaissance palaces in dark volcanic stone along narrow alleys
  • The sanctuary of the Madonna del Castagno, along the road rising to the Amiata summit
  • The Museo Minerario, documenting tools and history of the mercury mine, now dismissed for decades.

Events

  • Second Sunday, from May to September, a market of antiques and local products.