Badia a Passignano
A nice visit to the Abbey of Badia a Passignano, as part of our Chianti Bike Tour
As part of the Chianti bike tour, following one of the scenic Tuscany backroads, we can reach Badia a Passignano a charming medieval suburb.
The Abbey of Badia a Passignano (also called the Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo a Passignano) is a historic Benedictine abbey founded in the 11th century. It is located on top of a scenic hill, surrounded by cypresses. The abbey in the 19th-century housed a remarkable collection of over 6000 parchment manuscripts, many brought here by Grand-Duke Leopold.
Under certain restrictions, today it is still possible to visit the Abbey. There is something magic around it…
Every time I pass the entrance of the abbey, I expect to see friar William of Baskerville, busy in the investigation of a suspicious death. Do you remember ‘The name of the rose” movie? It is based on the book of the same name, written by Umberto Eco, with Sean Connery? The scenario is very similar.
During the visit, we can see the refectory, the kitchen, and the chapel. In particular, in the refectory of the monastery, there is the fresco of the Last Supper: work of the 15th century by Domenico and Davide Ghirlandaio.
Badia a Passignano was also an important center of theological, scientific and literary studies. At that time there were about a hundred monks, while over six thousand documents were kept in their archives… and the ancient library is still present. How many secrets are still hidden in the parchments and in the books? An entire life would not be enough to explore this amazing place.
Galileo Galilei also stayed in the monastery, for a brief period, where he taught mathematics.
During our bike tour, while we are approaching Badia a Passignano, we can see the abbey with its fortified appearance, and the angular towers. It looks like a castle. This is probably due to the needs of protection at the time of struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines or between Emperors and Popes…
After the visit, it is time to proceed with our Chianti bike tour to reach the next destination.
In the gallery, you can see some pics related to Badia a Passignano.