Walk from the impressive Monte Oliveto Maggiore Monastery on a variety of different terrain with fantastic views everywhere you turn.
Starting with a short transfer to the monastery begin your walk at the watchtower and make your way to the little village of Chiusure which you walk through. Then follow a gravel road up and down before taking a dirt trail through a wooded area with pines and reeds (providing much needed shade on hot days). Pass farmhouses along the way and once more this walk provides great views of the Crete Senesi landscapes. As you get close to Pieve a Salti you can see views of it to the right on a ridge as you walk. Save some energy for the last kilometre as you have to climb steeply to get back to the agriturismo.
As today's walk is fairly short it is recommended that you spend time visiting the Monte Oliveto Monastery before you begin walking. Please check opening/closing hours.
If it is a hot day don't forget to bring plenty of water for dehydration.
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Food & Drink ...
It is possible to buy lunch at the cafe just outside the abbey. There is pleasant outside seating here. There is also a cafe/food store in Chiusure if you wish to purchase a picnic lunch and eat it on route. You can also ask the Pieve a Salti Agriturismo to make you a panini. Please ask about this the evening before if possible.
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Monte Oliveto Maggiore Monastery: The Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore is the mother house of the Olivetians, or White Benedictines, a congregation of monks founded in 1313 by Blessed Bernardo Tolomei of Siena. The abbey is a huge complex. The main attraction is the cycle of 36 frescoes in the cloisters, painted between 1497 and 1508 by Luca Signorelli and Antonio Bazzi (Il Sodoma), that portray the life of St. Benedict. When you arrive at the abbey, find the frescoes by crossing the “drawbridge” through the watchtower, descending 200m to the clock tower, and swinging right around the clock tower to one of the entrances. Also note the intricately inlaid wooden stalls in the apse of the adjoining church.
The abbey’s hours are approximately 09.15-12.30 and 15.15-17.00 or 18.00 (the hours may change a little from year to year). To avoid being locked out during the midday closure, we recommend you take the shuttle from the hotel to Monte Oliveto in the morning (the earlier the better to avoid the tour buses), tour the abbey, and walk back in the afternoon. You need to make the shuttle arrangements the night before.
This activity is included in the following itineraries:
Sturdy walking boots or shoes are highly recommended as walking on gravel roads can play havoc with your feet if you don't have the correct footwear.