The Hermitage of Montesiepi near San Galgano in the Val di Merse was built between 1182 and 1185. This is one of the most remarkable churches in all of Tuscany and is definitely worth a visit. In addition, it overlooks the famous ruined Abbey of San Galgano which is within easy walking distance. San Galgano was founded by the Cistercians and is one of the rare Gothic structures in Tuscany. It’s extremely photogenic and is located in a pleasing bucolic setting in the valley of the River Merse of Tuscany.
The Hermitage is famous for a sword apparently embedded in a rock. This is said to be the sword of San Galgano himself and can be seen by entering the round church. Round churches are also rare in Tuscany. There is another one near Perugia, the beautiful Tempio di San Michele Arcangelo.
The Abbey of San Galgano is a splendid ruin of gigantic proportions consisting of the church and parts of the cloister and chapter house. It was Tuscany’s first pure Gothic church, and became the model for Duomo of Siena.
Massa Marittima is one of the more interesting towns in the area and can be usefully included in a day trip the the Abbey and Hermitage.
More about the Hermitage of Montesiepi.
More about the Abbey of San Galgano.
More about Massa Marittima.