The structure of Monte Oliveto Maggiore follows the classic set-up of Benedictine abbeys: a large church, a main cloister and additional smaller ones, a chapter house and a refectory. In the case of the Abbey of Mote Oliveto Maggiore, there is also a large library.
The visit begins in the church, built in the early 1400s. Like many religious buildings in the Sienese territory from the same time period, this one is also akin to a painting gallery, or rather, a sacred art museum, where visitors can admire splendid paintings, statues and majestic inlaid works, like the choir lectern (with a cat) by Brother Raffaele da Brascia (1520). The church leads to the Large Cloister, completely frescoed by Luca Signorelli and Antonio Bazzi, also known as Il Sodoma. From here, the visit continues to the refectory and, climbing the stairs, the chapter house and the large library.
It is recommended that visitors find time to attend the sung mass, celebrated by the Olivetan monks who perform Gregorian chants. For wine lovers, we remind you that the Abbey is home to a wine cellar, where the monks sell wine of their own making.