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Over twenty-four Tuscany monasteries are open to all guests… including breakfast they average $35.00/Nite

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Tuscany's monasteries welcome visitors without any religious obligation.

In addition to the well-known cities of Florence, Pisa, Siena and Cortona, there are dozens upon dozens of intriguing villages and hamlets that bring you in touch with Italian culture, art, history, architecture, food and people. From forests, to mountaintops, to great cities and small hamlets, there are dozens of monasteries to choose from in the beautiful region of Tuscany. Intriguing places that bring you in touch with Italian culture, art, history, architecture, food, wine and the Italian locals.

Mount Amiata is a holiday resort region offering hiking, horseback riding and cultural entertainment in the summer, skiing in the winter. Nearby Abbadia San Salvatore resides in a boulder-strewn setting. Gothic and Renaissance style buildings of dark gray stone enrich the distinctive medieval ambience of the old town.

There are dozens of choices throughout Tuscany.

In an unusual landscape of clay and limestone hillsides, 14th century Sienese walls still surround part of the small medieval town of Asciano. Elegant cypress trees and farmhouses add a quaint touch to the setting. The town’s Museo Etrusco shelters collections accumulated from Etruscan tombs unearthed in the area.

Another monastery is in a small town in the heart of the Casentino region. A milieu of mystical beauty, of mountains bathed in a palette of soft pastels, the region is home to one of Italy’s wildest primeval forests, the Forest Casentinesi. The dense woodland harbors towering silver fir, centuries-old beech, mountain maple and European aspen.

Monasteries can be found in coastal locations, hilltop villages and major cities like Florence.

A nearby castle is one of the most famous in Casentino and was mentioned by Dante in his writing. It is an esteemed example of sacred medieval architecture. The hill town of Poppi is home to the 13th century Castello dei Conti Guidi, seat of the Guidi counts who ruled the Casentino until the middle of the 15th century. The castle is a massive structure and one of Tuscany’s best preserved buildings. It is accented by a boldly conceived staircase and spacious main chamber. The frescoed chapel (Taddeo Gaddi) adds a note of distinction to the second floor. The library shelters priceless incunabula and manuscripts.

For more information click here: Monasteries of Italy

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Stay at this convent in one of the most charming hill top Tuscan towns with gorgeous lake and valley views for about $40/night

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Large comfortable guest rooms include private baths and breakfast for about $40 per night.

The convent is immersed in the restful green of the typical Tuscan hill, in the shadow of the majestic trees that clasp the entrance and hug the enormous garden behind the building. Built over 100 years ago by a man whose daughter wanted to join the order, the convent occupies an exceptional location on the slope of a steep hill in one of the oldest and most captivating towns of Tuscany. The locale in this charming hill town offers wonderful views of the valley and Lake Trasimeno. From the convent, it is an easy walk to the center of town and all that it has to offer.

Nearby Montepulciano is a well-preserved medieval town. It is enriched with Renaissance architecture that is splendidly woven into the urban fabric. Tufa and brick are typical building materials. The entire region is noted for the production of the “noble” Montepulciano wine. Piazza Grande is the heart of town and is faced by the cathedral as well as numerous grand palaces.

Just south of Montepulciano is lovely Pienza. The town’s Renaissance layout and buildings are attributed to its most illustrious son, Enea Silvio Piccolomini who became Pope under the name of Pius II. The beautiful central piazza, conceived and designed by Bernardo Rossellino contains the town’s principal monuments. The cathedral is a grand basilica with three Gothic naves and a complex Renaissance façade. The Palazzo Piccolomini is a fine example of Renaissance civic architecture with a severe facade, elegant courtyard and beautiful hanging garden.

For more information visit