The Abbey of Santi Salvatore e Cirino in Abbadia a Isola, the small village at the foot of Monteriggioni, was built in the year 1001 upon the orders of Ava, a noblewoman from the Lambardi di Staggia family.
The monastery, as the name suggests, was surrounded by water at the time and in a strategic position for watching over the Via Francigena, the pilgrimage route that led to Rome and along which Borgonuovo (later Abbadia Isola) was a resting point as early as the 10th century: the Abbey was thus not only a church but also an ospitale, a hospice that provided refuge and care for wayfarers.
The Romanesque church has three naves and three apses and conserves important works of art, including the beautiful polyptych on the high altar, painted in the 16th century by the Sienese painter Sano di Pietro.
The Abbey is flanked by a small village and the ruins of medieval fortifications. The monastic buildings are still visible and were renovated to be used as the “Contessa Ava” town hostel for all those traveling along the Francigena today.