After visiting Montalcino, follow the road signs to the Romanesque Abbey of Sant'Antimo, a beautiful and evocative abbey built in the 12th century. The drive along the winding country road leading to the monastery is an incredible pleasure for your eyes: vineyards, olive groves, green hills, and isolated farmhouses here and there. The Abbey, built in travertine stone, stands in perfect isolation on a plain among secular olive groves and lovely wheat fields.
Legend has it that the abbey was founded by Charlemagne in 781. The king and his army stopped here on the way back from Rome as the soldiers were afflicted by an unknown pestilence. An angel appeared to Charlemagne, telling him to make his men drink an infusion with a local herb. The cure worked and the army was saved so the king decided to build the church in gratitude.
When you enter the church its solemn and severe atmosphere will take you back to the Middle Ages and the austere monastic world. During mass you can still listen to the beautiful and intriguing Gregorian chants song by French monks in white robes; truly a mystical and unforgettable experience! It is a mystic place surrounded by a whispering silence.
If you happen to pass through the Valdorcia region and its amazing villages such as Montalcino, you'll remain so deeply impressed by the magical beauty of the place that you soon realize you must return to Tuscany again!