Abbadia San Salvatore is the main town in the mountainous area known as Monte Amiata, in the southern part of the province of Siena. Its main attractions are the abbey after which the town is named and the Palazzo del Podestà .
Abbadia San Salvatore City Guide
Region: Tuscany. Province: Siena. The address of the town hall is Viale Roma, 2 – 53021 Abbadia San Salvatore (Tel. +39 05777701). The ZIP code is 53021, the area code is 0577.
By car/public transportation
By car from Siena: Follow the SS2 (Via Cassia) until the exit for Abbadia itself.
By car from Rome: Take the A1 in northern direction. Take the exit at Orte and continue until Acquapendente. Follow the SS2 to your destination. If you are not in a hurry, you can also take the much nicer SS2 from Rome itself.
Public transport from Siena: From the Porta Ovile in Siena there is a (not very frequent) bus connection. The journey takes 100 minutes.
Public transport from Rome: There is no direct connection. Travel first to Viterbo or Acquapendente and then continue on to Abbadia.
Abbadia San Salvatore, as its name suggests, was built around the San Salvatore Abbey founded in the year 743. This abbey, originally founded by Lombards, was one of the most important ones in Tuscany during the Middle Ages, first under the Benedictines and later under the Cistenser order.
The town of Abbadia San Salvatore developed around the Benedictine abbey founded by the Lombards in the year 744. By building the abbey, they hoped to gain control of the Via Francigena. This was the pilgrim road that led to Rome via Tuscia. (Tuscia was the name then but still often used today for the present province of Viterbo.)
The original name of the municipality was Castel della Badia. The first statute of this town was issued in 1210.
In 1347 the town came under the Republic of Siena, after an agreement was made with the counts Aldobrandeschi of Santa Fiora.
After the middle ages
In 1559 the city was incorporated into the Florentine State.
Together with Spain, this part of Italy was one of the most important sites for the extraction of mercury. During World War II, miners from the area were employed to protect the city’s most important structures from German attacks.
The extraction of mercury has become less and less important to the city’s economy. Abbadia San Salvatore today depends largely on tourism and trade.
What to see and do, tourist attractions
The main attraction of the town is the San Salvatore Abbey itself, together with the 11th century church. There is also a mining museum and near the abbey one can walk through the medieval center (with some Gothic and Renaissance buildings). Another interesting church is the 16th century Madonna del Castagno Church.