Tour San Galgano Abbey and Chiusdino

Highlights

  • San Galgano Abbey

  • Ruins of the abbatial church

  • Montesiepi Hermitage

  • ‘Sword in the stone’

  • Historic centre of Chiusdino

  • Museum of Chiusdino

Duration of tour: 2/3,5 hours
Difficulty: medium
Suitable for children: sì
Access for differently-abled: no in San Galgano’s birthplace
Difference in level: 40 metres

From 180,00 €

The Visit to the Abbey of San Galgano

With the tour of San Galgano Abbey and Chiusdino you will be surprised to discover this little-known area of Tuscany – the Val di Merse – full of naturalistic glimpses and monuments of great charm; here the ruins of San Galgano Abbey rise in the Siena countryside, a few metres from the legendary sword in the rock. This place also preserves evidence of the centuries-old history of the Cistercians, the religious community that settled and remained there until the sixteenth-century.

We will begin our guided tour of San Galgano from the courtyard in front of the Abbey complex, where there is the path that was once the entrance to the grandiose complex. Starting from the surviving environment of the Scriptorium, we will see how the writing activity of the Cistercian monks was here organized. Walking through the spaces of this environment, we will also notice the surviving decorations, some of which contain a complex symbolic meaning. Inside the Chapter house – built according to the canons of Cistercian architecture –, we will see what the underground staircase, still visible in the centre of the space, we will see what the underground staircase was used for. Walking through the ruins of the majestic abbey church which, like a stone skeleton still standing solemnly towards the sky, you will immediately recognize the image of the ruins on many times seen on the internet or in television documentaries.

The majestic Abbey church

Today the Abbey is an icon of the medieval imagination and exerts a great attraction for visitors, thanks to the fact that it shows itself as a ruin; you should also know that the complex has been the first significant example of Gothic architecture in Tuscany, built thanks to the expertise of the same Cistercian monks who, in the same decades in which they were building the Abbey, were also called by the Republic of Siena to oversee both the management of the financial magistrates (called Gabella and Biccherna) and to oversee the building site of the town Cathedral itself. Finally, it is worth remembering how San Galgano even inspired great cinema personalities, such as the Soviet director Andrej Tarkovskij who wanted to film some scenes of Nostalghia in this place.

The sword in the stone really exists and is here

A few steps from the abbey, we will visit the Montesiepi Hermitage, a Romanesque building that has the peculiarity of being circular in shape, which is the reason because it is also called the Rotonda di Montesiepi.

Inside the church is where you will finally find the sword in the stone, the legendary sword that is popularly associated with the figure of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; today this object is preserved protected under a glass bell. The figure of San Galgano and the events of his life are known by the inhabitants of the area thanks to this sword, kept inside the Hermitage.

But while that of the British king is a story with not well-defined historical outlines – in this day known thanks to the chivalric literature (romance) that has handed down to us –, the earthly affair of the knight Galgano has really occurred and we have got minutes testimonies of it by the saint’s canonization trial. Of Galgano we will retrace the salient events, so you can find out why, at some point in his life, the knight decided to become a hermit and why his sword is here today, stuck in the rock – inside a church that, among other things, also has a particular shape, which is linked to that of some templar buildings and to the Roman age mausoleums. Finally, we will discover what are the symbolic similarities – and the differences – between the sword of King Arthur and that of Galgano.

The Visit of Chiusdino

However, to fully understand the events of the ‘courteous hermit’ is necessary to visit the village of Chiusdino; in this suggestive small town, of Lombard origin, was where San Galgano was born around the middle of the twelfth-century. The historic centre still preserves its medieval structure, in the shape of a Curtis; thanks to the series of alleys, monumental entrances and churches, Chiusdino is one of the most fascinating places to visit in the Val di Merse.

We will begin the visit of Chiusdino from the Prepositura church, dedicated to San Michele Arcangelo. Although the interior has been rebuilt in recent times, what is interesting to see here is the San Galgano’s skull relic, now preserved inside a modern-style display case.

The visit to the Museum and the Reliquary of the head …

Leaving the church, we walk through an alley that directly will lead us in front of San Galgano’s birthplace. Inside, in addition to an Oratory that is cared for by a Confraternity dedicated to the saint, there is a stone recalling a truly prodigious event which involved the horse of the hermit saint …

We end the visit of the San Galgano Abbey and of Chiusdino with the Diocesan Museum, which can be accessed with the ticket already purchased to visit the Abbey. Although small in size, the museum endows the opportunity to learn about important works of art coming from the area, including local feudal families’ coats of arms, the original marble reliefs – works by Sienese artists – which were once on the facçde of San Galgano’s birthplace and, last but not least, the Reliquary of San Galgano’s head, a masterpiece of the Sienese thirteenth-century goldsmith’s art, temporarily on display in this institution and coming from the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo of Siena. We will closely observe this precious artefact – created by the goldsmith Pace di Valentino – going to discover the scenes from San Galgano’s life that are here represented and the symbolic links they have with the other figures in the reliquary.

The guided tour to the San Galgano Abbey and to the village of Chiusdino is an experience where you can both discover one of the richest areas of history in the Val di Merse and to travel back in time, on the tracks of knights, pilgrims and cathedrals builders.

This tour can also be booked in combination with the other tours or hiking trails available on Siena and Florence, which can be consulted in the Menu.

The activity proposed here is not a joinable tour but a private tour that is carried out on request of individuals or groups organised with a tourist agency and can be customised for starting time, meeting place and duration. depending on the customer’s needs.

 

Duration of the San Galgano and Chiusdino tour

The duration of the tour can be 2 or 3 and a half hours; with 2 hours you can visit the complex of the Abbey of San Galgano and the Hermitage of Montesiepi.

With a visit of 3 and a half hours it is possible to visit the complex of the Abbey of San Galgano, the Hermitage of Montesiepi and the village of Chiusdino (with also the Museum).

Radio rental compulsory from 6 people onwards

From 6 people onwards, to facilitate listening to the guide explanations and ensuring social distancing outdoors and indoors, it is strictly recommended to rent radio devices with transmitters that ensure perfect listening to the explanations of the guide even from a distance; if then we visit the inside of the monuments, the rental of radios is compulsory for 4 or more people. The service is booked by the guide when the guided tour is requested, but the rental cost, which is € 2.00 per person for 2 or 3 hours, is charged to the customer and can be paid directly to the guide who will then take care to pay the supplier.

Carers or teachers of school groups do not pay for the rental of the radio.

 

 

Opening hours San Galgano Abbey:

Open every day

From November to March 09:00 – 5:30 pm
April May October 09:00 – 6:00 pm
June and September 13:30 -5:30 pm
July and August 09:00 – 8:00 pm

 

 

 

Opening hours Chiusdino Museum:

October – March 11:30 – 6:00 pm
April – September 11:30 – 7:00 pm

 

 

Ticket price San Galgano Abbey and Museum

(cumulative ticket that allows access to the Abbey and Chiusdino Museum)

Full: 5,00 €
Reduced: 

Minors of 18 years, over 65 years, groups over 20, students with the university card.

4,00 €
Family ticket (2 parents and 2 children) 

 

15,00 €
Free admission

For the residents of the Municipality of Chiusdino, children up to 6 years, attendants of disabled people.

 

 

For further information on the Abbey of San Galgano visit the official website of the Municipality of Chiusdino, or the Local Trust of Chiusdino.

The ticket price for the interior of the San Galgano Abbey and the Museum is not included in the tour rate.

The guide does not provide private transport service.

 

To get further information, to book the tour or to get the contact of a licensed driver providing private transfer service, please write to:

info@guidaturistica-michelebusillo.com, also by Whatsapp or Telegram


 

Go back to the itinerary

 

Cost of the San Galgano and Chiusdino tour

The rate for a 2-hours private guided tour is 140.00 € (price in total and not per person), for 3 hours and half is 200.00 € (always price in total and not per person).

For further information about the rates, also to check the deals available, please visit the dedicated section by clicking here.

 

 

How to book the tour?

The tour can be booked by writing an email, calling at +393332591526 or texting the guide (also via Whatsapp or Telegram) to check availability for the requested day. 

Once the day and time of the tour have been agreed with the guide, to book it is necessary to advance 50% of the tour value with a deposit to be paid by credit card.

Attention: pay the deposit only after agreed the date and the details of the tour with the guide. The remaining payment of the guided tour takes place after the tour by card, in cash or by bank transfer.

 

 

Cancellation Policy

It is the responsibility of the guide to guarantee the guide service in any case. If, even for personal reasons, the guide is unable to perform the service in the date set with the client, it will be his concern to contact a trusted colleague who can replace him and therefore guarantee the customer service.

The cancellation of the tour from the client can be done free of charge by giving timely notice to the guide before 48 hours from the date and time agreed for the service. In this case the deposit paid in advance by the customer will be returned by the guide. If instead cancellation is made by the customer when there are less than 48 hours before the date agreed for the service, the customer will lose the deposit paid.

Cancellation can be made by promptly communicating it to the guide with via email, calling the number +393332591526 or by texting (also via Whatsapp or Telegram).


 

Back to the description of the itinerary

By Car

Since unfortunately there are no public transport lines connecting the complex of San Galgano or Chiusdino with Siena or Florence, the only alternative to reach these places by motor means is only by car, taxi, transfer service or private tourist coach. There is free parking near the Abbey (click here to view the location on Google Maps).

Other car parks are available for Chiusdino in Piazza XX Settembre, near Via Dina Ferri and along the Strada provinciale di Chiusdino.

 

By taxi

As an alternative to a private or rent car, it’s possible to reach the San Galgano Abbey by taking the taxi service from the positions available in Siena.

In the centre of Siena there are positions in front of the train station or close to the historic centre (eg Piazza Indipendenza). Taxi service can be contacted at the number +39057749222, sending a message at the number +393483892305 indicating:

  • Address (Street o Square, Civic Number and Municipality);
  • Particular requests(dog or cat, payment by card, driver’s language, number of passengers if over 4, luggage if large).
    Wait for the confirmation message with the code of the arriving taxi and the estimated time

 

Organised groups/squadrons by tourist coach

For organised groups/squadrons by tourist coach, there are drop-off/drop-on points for passengers at the Abbey of San Galgano and in Chiusdino (click here to view the points). Tourist coaches are subject to the payment of a checkpoint (further information by clicking here).

 

By camper van

Camper owners can find stop places near to the San Galgano Abbey. The closest one (click here to see it on Google Maps) is located in the same car park of the Abbey (not equipped area). Another area (the latter equipped) is located at the Camping agrituristico Le Fontanelle, a 17 km far from the Abbey (for more information click here). 

 

Go back to the itinerary

This tour can also be booked in combination with the other tours or hiking trails available on Siena and Florence, which can be consulted in the Menu.

The activity proposed here is not a joinable tour but a private tour that is carried out on request of individuals or groups organised with a tourist agency and can be customised for starting time, meeting place and duration. depending on the customer’s needs.

 

Duration of the San Galgano and Chiusdino tour

The duration of the tour can be 2 or 3 and a half hours; with 2 hours you can visit the complex of the Abbey of San Galgano and the Hermitage of Montesiepi.

With a visit of 3 and a half hours it is possible to visit the complex of the Abbey of San Galgano, the Hermitage of Montesiepi and the village of Chiusdino (with also the Museum).

Radio rental compulsory from 6 people onwards

From 6 people onwards, to facilitate listening to the guide explanations and ensuring social distancing outdoors and indoors, it is strictly recommended to rent radio devices with transmitters that ensure perfect listening to the explanations of the guide even from a distance; if then we visit the inside of the monuments, the rental of radios is compulsory for 4 or more people. The service is booked by the guide when the guided tour is requested, but the rental cost, which is € 2.00 per person for 2 or 3 hours, is charged to the customer and can be paid directly to the guide who will then take care to pay the supplier.

Carers or teachers of school groups do not pay for the rental of the radio.

 

 

Opening hours San Galgano Abbey:

Open every day

From November to March 09:00 – 5:30 pm
April May October 09:00 – 6:00 pm
June and September 13:30 -5:30 pm
July and August 09:00 – 8:00 pm

 

 

 

Opening hours Chiusdino Museum:

October – March 11:30 – 6:00 pm
April – September 11:30 – 7:00 pm

 

 

Ticket price San Galgano Abbey and Museum

(cumulative ticket that allows access to the Abbey and Chiusdino Museum)

Full: 5,00 €
Reduced: 

Minors of 18 years, over 65 years, groups over 20, students with the university card.

4,00 €
Family ticket (2 parents and 2 children) 

 

15,00 €
Free admission

For the residents of the Municipality of Chiusdino, children up to 6 years, attendants of disabled people.

 

 

For further information on the Abbey of San Galgano visit the official website of the Municipality of Chiusdino, or the Local Trust of Chiusdino.

The ticket price for the interior of the San Galgano Abbey and the Museum is not included in the tour rate.

The guide does not provide private transport service.

 

To get further information, to book the tour or to get the contact of a licensed driver providing private transfer service, please write to:

info@guidaturistica-michelebusillo.com, also by Whatsapp or Telegram

 

Go back to the itinerary

 

Cost of the San Galgano and Chiusdino tour

The rate for a 2-hours private guided tour is 140.00 € (price in total and not per person), for 3 hours and half is 200.00 € (always price in total and not per person).

For further information about the rates, also to check the deals available, please visit the dedicated section by clicking here.

 

 

How to book the tour?

The tour can be booked by writing an email, calling at +393332591526 or texting the guide (also via Whatsapp or Telegram) to check availability for the requested day. 

Once the day and time of the tour have been agreed with the guide, to book it is necessary to advance 50% of the tour value with a deposit to be paid by credit card.

Attention: pay the deposit only after agreed the date and the details of the tour with the guide. The remaining payment of the guided tour takes place after the tour by card, in cash or by bank transfer.

 

 

Cancellation Policy

It is the responsibility of the guide to guarantee the guide service in any case. If, even for personal reasons, the guide is unable to perform the service in the date set with the client, it will be his concern to contact a trusted colleague who can replace him and therefore guarantee the customer service.

The cancellation of the tour from the client can be done free of charge by giving timely notice to the guide before 48 hours from the date and time agreed for the service. In this case the deposit paid in advance by the customer will be returned by the guide. If instead cancellation is made by the customer when there are less than 48 hours before the date agreed for the service, the customer will lose the deposit paid.

Cancellation can be made by promptly communicating it to the guide with via email, calling the number +393332591526 or by texting (also via Whatsapp or Telegram).

 

Back to the description of the itinerary

By Car

Since unfortunately there are no public transport lines connecting the complex of San Galgano or Chiusdino with Siena or Florence, the only alternative to reach these places by motor means is only by car, taxi, transfer service or private tourist coach. There is free parking near the Abbey (click here to view the location on Google Maps).

Other car parks are available for Chiusdino in Piazza XX Settembre, near Via Dina Ferri and along the Strada provinciale di Chiusdino.

 

By taxi

As an alternative to a private or rent car, it’s possible to reach the San Galgano Abbey by taking the taxi service from the positions available in Siena.

In the centre of Siena there are positions in front of the train station or close to the historic centre (eg Piazza Indipendenza). Taxi service can be contacted at the number +39057749222, sending a message at the number +393483892305 indicating:

  • Address (Street o Square, Civic Number and Municipality);
  • Particular requests(dog or cat, payment by card, driver’s language, number of passengers if over 4, luggage if large).
    Wait for the confirmation message with the code of the arriving taxi and the estimated time

 

Organised groups/squadrons by tourist coach

For organised groups/squadrons by tourist coach, there are drop-off/drop-on points for passengers at the Abbey of San Galgano and in Chiusdino (click here to view the points). Tourist coaches are subject to the payment of a checkpoint (further information by clicking here).

 

By camper van

Camper owners can find stop places near to the San Galgano Abbey. The closest one (click here to see it on Google Maps) is located in the same car park of the Abbey (not equipped area). Another area (the latter equipped) is located at the Camping agrituristico Le Fontanelle, a 17 km far from the Abbey (for more information click here). 

 

Go back to the itinerary