Convento Sacro, Monte San Vivaldo
Places of worship

San Vivaldo's Convento Sacro Monte

Dubbed “Jerusalem” thanks to its reproduction of the holy city

Loc. San Vivaldo
The castle took its name from Allone di Lucca, and was mentioned in ancient maps as "Mons Allonis", later corrected to "Montaione". It was already a city in 1257, and was involved in the wars between San Gimignano, Volterra and San Miniato, but it sided prevalently with the Republic of Florence. From1200 the art of glass-working was practised, which later spread to the rest of the Valdelsa. Today, Montaione is a quiet city with its well preserved old town centre, made up of a simple town plan crossed by three parallel streets which then join to reach the town gates. Unfortunately little remains of the ancient town walls, which were mainly destroyed by German mines in 1944 together with the town gates and the towers. Of note is the Palazzo Pretorio (14th century) with its facade embellished by several coats of arms.

Today it is the seat of the Commune's Library and the Museo di Storia Naturale. The church of San Regolo (13th century) is also important. It was rebuilt in 1635 and contains a valuable 13th century painting of Madonna and Child attributed to the school of Cimabue. Montaione's main economic resource today is "Green Tourism", developed by renovating old country farmhouses and villages abandoned in the 1960s, which have now been transformed into alternative recreational centres (holiday apartments, farm-stay and bed and breakfast) with an availability of around 2000 places.These centres have swimming pools, tennis courts, and an 18-hole golf course is also available in Castelfalfi. The territory is criss-crossed by a network of hill-walking paths, clearly signposted along the way and shown on a tourist map published by the City.

There is a water discharge point for motor homes and caravans in Montaione's Piazza Nunziatina (this is a free 24-hour service). Within the territory of the commune we find the Sacro Monte di San Vivaldo, where the Franciscan Vivaldo Stricchi da S. Gimignano retired as a hermit in the 14th century. He was found dead in the hollow trunk of a chestnut tree which he used as a home and later an oratory was erected on the spot. Later, around 1515, Fra' Tommaso da Firenze ordered a group of chapels to be built with terracotta decorations representing scenes from the Life and Passion of Christ, and a scale reproduction of the topography of Palestine. For this reason the area has been called the "Jerusalem of Tuscany". Of note are the permanent exhibition in the former convent barn and the festival of classical music held in the cloister in the month of July.

Source: Firenze APT
Montaione
A centuries-old town perfect for nature-loving tourists, home to “Tuscany’s Jerusalem” in its countryside
Montaione took its name after the Allone di Lucca, and was documented in the Middle Ages as Mons Allonis. In the 1200s Montaione became known for glass working, which spread throughout the Valdelsa. In 1257 the town was struck by the wars between San Gimignano, Volterra and San Miniato, but mostly gravitated around Florence. ...
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