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Overview of Camaldoli

Camaldoli is a famous locality along the world for keeping in its area two of the main spiritual sites of all Tuscany: The Monastery and the Eremo of Camaldoli.
Those old religious complexes are located in Arezzo’s province, in the Casentino region, in a valley surrounded by a large enchanting protected forest. A fraction of this woodland belongs to the Carthusians monks who nowadays are managing both religious structures.
The Monastery is situated along the road and the Eremo is located in a lovely cut off point of their woodland division.

The Eremo (hermitage) and the Monastery were founded in the 11th century.
At the beginning of that century San Romualdo arrived in the former desert valley and Count Maldolo granted him the area for his hermitic purpose. With the agreement of the Bishop of Arezzo he sets up the Order of the Camaldolesi Monks, following the Rule of San Benedict.
He first founded the Eremo for a contemplative life.
Some years later he restored an ancient building and converted it into a refuge for pilgrims. Between 1080 and 1085 the refuge, completely rehabilitated an enlarged, became the Monastery, designed for an active religious life, which along the centuries has improved an illustrious intellectual and humanistic development in Italy and abroad.

The Camaldolese Order has had several eminent members, like Guido di Arezzo, who devised the musical notation still used today; Gratian, who set up the basis for canon law; the prestigious painter of the 15th century, Lorenzo Monaco; the great philosopher and humanist Ambrogio Traversari and Niccolò Malerbi who published in the 15th century the first translation into Italian of the Bible.
Dante Alighieri also celebrated three of its members in the Divina Commedia, Chant of the Paradise: Romualdo, Gratian and Damiano.

Nowadays both the Monastery and the Eremo keep on being sites of pilgrimage as well as of high historic and artistic interest.

What to visit:

- The Monastery. Composed by the guest-rooms; the Cloister; a hospital from the 14th century, a pharmacy from the 16th century, now called “La Antica Farmacia” where the monks are selling their homemade products, like medicinal and herbal products, liqueurs, honey, chocolate and toiletries. The Church of San Donato ed Ilariano, built up in the 12th century, destroyed and rebuilt several times. The present structure is from the 18th century.
It hosts the “Nativity” by Giorgio Vasari.

- The Eremo. Saint Romuald’s cellar; the Refectory; the Library from the 17th century; the Church of Jesus Transfiguration, built up in the 13th century, and the Oratory of S. Antonio Abate, which its masterpiece is a glazed terracotta “La Madonna col Bambino e Santi” from the 15th century, made by Andrea Della Robbia.

Main Towns in Casentino

Anghiari, Bibbiena, Camaldoli, Chiusi della Verna, Monterchi, Poppi, Pratovecchio, San Sepolcro.

Where to sleep :

 

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