The main attraction of Abbadia San Salvatore is, of course, the abbey after which the town is named, along with the village that grew up around it. Other attractions include the mining museum and a number of old churches. The most important historical building is the 15th century Palazzo del Podestà.
Top 10 tourist attractions Abbadia San Salvatore
01. San Salvatore Abbey
Abbadia San Salvatore developed around the San Salvatore Abbey, founded in 743 by the Lombard King Ratchis. The king is said to have seen an apparition of the Trinity on a fir tree at this spot. The abbey was one of the most important monasteries in Tuscany during the Middle Ages, first under the Benedictines and later under the Cistersian order.
02. Santa Maria dell’Ermeta Church
The Santa Maria dell’Ermeta Church is said to have been built on the spot where the wife and daughter of the Lombard king Rachis withdrew. The small chapel already existed in the 3rd century. The “Crucifix” that can be seen in the church is said to have been made by an unknown hermit in the 9th century.
03. Medieval Village
Close by is the medieval village that grew up around the abbey. Narrow picturesque streets and alleys with small stone houses predominate here. The houses that were built later show Gothic and Renaissance features.
04. Mining Museum Park
Until not very long ago Abbadia San Salvatore was a mining town. Through the Museo Minerarario, one can visit the corridors where mercury was extracted under the guidance of an ex-miner. The mine was closed in 1972. The area where the mines were located is now a natural park.
05. Monte Amiata
The mountain that rises above the city is Monte Amiata. It can be climbed on foot or by bicycle to enjoy a breathtaking panorama. At the top is a 22 meter high wrought iron cross, which was placed here on the occasion of the Holy Year 1900. Pope Leo XIII had asked the people to place crosses on the highest mountain peaks in the country. The maker was Luciano Zalaffi.
06. Palazzo del Podestà
The Palazzo del Podestà was built in the 15th century. It is now the town hall of the city.
07. Madonna dei Remedi Church
The Madonna dei Remedi Church was erected in 1602 on the site where a tabernacle was destroyed in 1561. The arch of the facade was part of a portico that was closed in the early 20th century. The interior is graced by wall paintings by Francesco and Giuseppe Nicola Nasini (early 16th century).
08. Madonna del Castagno Church
The Madonna del Castagno Church was consecrated in 1524. A chapel that used to occupy the spot was built after the discovery of a Madonna painted on a tile attached to a chestnut tree. The interior consists of a rectangular hall. The altars are embellished with ornamental stucco work. The high altar dates from the 18th century. The frescoes in the church date from the 16th century.
09. Santa Maria ad Valetudinarium Inn
The Santa Maria ad Valetudinarium Inn dates back to 1012, when the abbot Winizzo built a guesthouse with a small chapel for monks, pilgrims and the sick. Having fallen into disrepair in the early 14th century, Pope Pius II ordered its restoration in 1462. In the 18th century, the church and guesthouse were permanently closed to be converted into residential buildings by the end of the century.
10. San Leonardo Church
The San Leonardo Church was founded by Benedictine monks in the 13th century. Its facade has two medieval portals. The bell tower was built in the 18th century and raised in 1914.
More sights in Abbadia San Salvatore
11. Santa Croce Church
The Santa Croce Church was consecrated in 1221. Having burned down in 1791, this originally Gothic church was rebuilt in 1801. The modern interior is graced by a baptismal font from 1509, bearing the coat of arms of the abbey and of the Piccolomini family. Two 16th century paintings hang near the pulpit. The “Pietà e Santi” by Sebastiano Folli used to grace the San Michele Arcangelo Church, until this was converted into a private residence.