S. Antimo Abbey 45 km.
The abbey of St. Antimo, located some 9 km from Montalcino and towards Castelnuovo dell’Abate, is one of the most beautiful examples of a Romanesque church to be found in Italy. Legend holds that the church was built over a votive chapel constructed by Charlemagne in 781. The abbey itself, majestic and imposing, was built between 1000 and 1118. Constructed with an nave and two aisles with vaults representing the cross, the internal architecture is simply stunning. The aisles are overlooked by a gallery and divided by stone columns etched with various sculptured designs. Typical of these designs is that representing the story of Daniel and the Lion which includes an eclectic mixture of geometric and naturalistic motifs. The ambulatory, however, as well as the materials used for construction (onyx and alabaster) are more characteristic of the period, as is the well preserved 12th century wooden crucifix found inside the church. The colourful wooden sculpture of the Madonna with Child dates from the thirteenth century.