The Monastery of Giugnano was first mentioned in a document issued in 1076 which refers to a donation that the Aldobrandeschi family made to the Church of Montemassi. This area was deeply important to the Aldobrandeschi family of the Maremma; they considered the abbey a landed property. A historical document issued in 1140 by Innocenzo II confirms the presence of an important Benedictine Monastery (S. Lorenzo) near Civitella Marittima. This source suggests that San Salvatore may have been founded by the Aldobrandeschi family in opposition to the abbey of another ruling family, which was located in the territory near the Ombrone, along an important route that connected the Grosseto plain with the territories of Siena and Chiusi.
A document issued by Emperor Ottone IV suggests that in 1209 the monastery became dependent on the Cistercian Abbey of San Galgano in Val di Merse. This area was particularly important due to its mining industry and its argentiferous copper deposits. Its natural resources quickly caught the attention of Siena who strove to sever the Aldobrandeschi family’s ties to the Roccastrada Castle and limit their mining rights in the area. In 1275, S. Salvatore was granted to the Augustinian hermits and the Guglielmitano monks—an order founded in the Maremma area.
These religious orders maintained the structure until the beginning of the 1300s. From this point onwards, historical documentation regarding the abbey begins to become scarce. In Roccastrada’s statues, published in 1612, the locality of Giugnano is only mentioned for its mill and iron factory. Thanks to nineteenth century scholars, experts have been able to identify Bettarello’s remains as those belonging to the ancient monastery.
(Source: Province of Grosseto)