Whalechaser's Musings

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There You Are
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Monday, October 28, 2013

Two Abbeys: Monte Oliveto Magiore and L'Abbazia de San Galgano

The second day of our hiking program brought us to two very different abbeys. The first, Monte Oliveto Maggiore was clearly isolated, well-maintained and had a portico that depicts the life of Saint Benedict in 36 frescoes; each indicating a notable time in the saints' life. They were all in very good condition and it was easy to understand the story as portrayed in art.
 We never just drove up to a spot and walked in to see it. Always, we hiked and here is a shot as we approached the first abbey; we still had a good half hour before we actually got close to it. You can see it in the background.
 This is a shot of one of the 36 frescoes. Here Benedict delivers a possessed monk by scourging him.

Lunch consisted of more riboletta, a vegetable platter, spinach souffle (somehow I missed those shots!) and Tira Missu

The Second abbey, L'Abbazia de San Galgano had only walls remaining. When one enters the body of the abbey and looks up -- only sky is visible. Perhaps that, more than anything expresses God visually. It was quite moving to experience this building too. The thing that brings most folks here though is the sword, sunk deep into a stone by San Galfano (similar to the King Arthur story) It is located in another building up on the nearby hill, and very much worth the walk up to view it.
Sadly, though I remember distinctly taking many pictures, none of them made it to my hard drive so that is a mystery that I am still trying to solve.

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