APT Pisa: La Certosa di calci

Carthusian Monastery

With a rich collection of sculpture and frescoes, the monastery became famous thanks to the art works created by its monks


The hermetic and cenobitic lifestyles, or, more to the point, the places of solitude and those of collective lifestyles, are translated in two fundamental architectural elements: the cell and the church. The present-day appearance of Pisa's Certosa was established through a transformation which took place in the Baroque and at the end of the 18th century, when the most talented artists of the 1700s were embellishing the monastery. Workmen from the Carrara region worked on facade and the interior of the monsastery, which is richly decorated with frescoes, polychrome marbles and woodwork. The three cloisters—that of the prior, the capitulary, and the grand cloister—are defined by their erect arches and silent, suggest ambulatories.

At the center a fountain divides the renaissance garden that leads to the cells of the Carthusian monks, famous for their patience and their attention to the creation of artistic, scientific, and literary works. The last monks left the Certosa in 1972, and since now, thanks to a complex restoration, it is possible to visit their cells (each with its own small garden and work studio); the cloisters; the open galleries; the refectory; the church; the Chapterhouse; the library which conserves numerous manuscripts and antique texts; the guest quarters; the granary; oil press; farmacy; and the apartments of the Prior and Granduke.

A lovely village in a valley of olive groves and age-old churches
Calci is situated a few kilometres from Pisa, in the foothills of Monti Pisani and in central Valgraziosa. The valley, shaped like an amphitheatre, encloses the villages that, in their entirety, form Calci. Today, Calci is a small farming town built up around Pieve dei SS. ...