The Abbey of Vallombrosa is located on a small plain in the locality of the same name, in the municipality of Reggello, on the slopes of the Pratomagno Massif.
The Vallumbrosan Order was founded by Saint Giovanni Gualberto, born to a prominent Florentine family and who, in 1036, retreated into a life of hermitage in Vallombrosa, at the time Acquabella. After an initial wooden oratory, the new community of monks built a stone church in 1058, which was enlarged in 1200, while also the monastery was taking shape. The large cloister, the sacristy and the tower date to the 15th century. In the early eighteenth century, the church took on the uniform and lavish appearance that it still possesses today.
The Abbey, surrounded by the lush Vallombrosa Forest, preserves an important artistic heritage: a panel painting by Raffaello dei Carli and some frescoes by Fabbrini (1750) in the dome and in the vault of the nave, the Trinity by Lorenzo Lippi and the rich reliquary containing Saint Giovanni Gualberto’s arm, made by the Florentine goldsmith Paolo Sogliano (1500), and the inlaid wooden choir by Francesco da Poggibonsi.
In the Renaissance sacristy, visitors can find a panel painting by Raffaellino del Garbo depicting Saint Giovanni Gualberto and other saints (1508) and a large glazed terracotta altarpiece from the workshop of Andrea della Robbia, while the refectory is home to a series by Ignazio Hugford (1745).