THE CAMALDOLI MONASTERY AND HERMITAGE

The Camaldoli Monastery and Hermitage, in Arezzo province, is situated in a mighty forest of the Casentine Apennines, this land was donated by Count Maldolo di Arezzo to the monk Romualdo, who founded here the Monastery of the Camaldolensias. The Monastery rebuilt in the XIII C., and later enlarged, it is composed of areas dating back to various epochs: the guest-room with a porticoed cloister (XI C.) and the small cloister (XV C.); the Baroque church (XVIII C.) with the adjoining cloister from 1543 with some Vasari’s works of art; the refectory (1606) and the pharmacy, where the monks worked spices and medicinal plants to cure the sick of the old "hospitable." The current pharmacy, with fine walnut furniture, is dating back to 1543. The monastery, in the Renaissance became an important cultural center and after 1520 was activated internally also a print shop.

Deep inside the forest, at 1104 m., rises the “Eremo”, original hermitage of the order of the Camaldolensian monks (community of Benedictine monks), constituted in 1012 and born shortly after the founding of the monastery to house monks eager to totally abandon the community life for seclusion in the forest. In the adjacent walks are aligned 20 hermit cells (XI-XVII C.). Today the monastry and the hermitage of Camaldoli, house monks belonging to the same community, living the same rule but following lifestyles somewhat different, giving more space to community life at the monastery and favoring personal recollection at the hermitage.

The monks who live at the hermitage are currently nine. The hermitage, is completely surrounded by a stone wall, facing the street with a door, through which you enter the inner courtyard. From the courtyard you can visit the “Foresteria”, where guests and pilgrims are greeted, the church, with the monastic choir, the old refectory or chapter and the ancient cell of St. Romualdo, now incorporated in the building of the library, which keeps inside the typical structure of the hermit cell: a corridor that winds on three sides, guarding inside the living spaces of the monk, the room bedroom, the study and the chapel. The cell, as well as offering shelter from the cold winter temperatures, symbolizes the inner journey of the monk trying to get inside himself.

Nearby is the magnificent 35,000 hectare expanse of the National Park of Monte Falterona, Campigna and the Casentine Forests, established in 1990.

Visit the Casentino Valley and its spiritual places and mighty forests, book a villa with us!!!

Comments are closed.