San Antimo

Built in early 1100s, San Antimo is one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in Italy and is located in a wonderful pastoral setting 9 km from Montalcino. Inside, the abbey is very simple, with the play of light on the translucent travertine stone and the swirling incense smoke producing wonderful light effects. The focus of the interior is the dramatic primitive thirteenth century wooden carving of the crucified Christ behind the altar. Note also some of the intricate capitals. Famous for the Gregorian chanting of its monks, it is highly recommended to get there around midday in order to have time to wander around and then just sit and experience the space and the Gregorian Sesta service at 12.45. There are also lovely walks up the track to the right of the abbey (when approaching from the car park). Back up at the T. junction are some good restaurants for a spot of lunch.