The Borgo and the monastery of Badia, one of the most superb in the Chianti area, is just a few kilometers from Palazzo Malaspina, which is why I recommend it to my guests. It is one of the most important tourist sights in the area and easily accessible from San Donato in Poggio, where our B&B is located (in the main town Square). Badia a Passignano is a not to be missed experience, equal to those in the nearby famous art cities.
Badia a Passignano is a not to be missed experience for Palazzo Malaspina’s guests
The monastery of the Saint Michael Archangel Abbey in Passignano, better known by the name of the hamlet, Badia a Passignano, is one of the most fascinating historical and landscape tourist destinations in the entire Florentine Chianti area.
Badia a Passignano is known for its beautiful monastery and its historic churches that are part of the complex, as well as the gently rolling hills of the Tuscan landscape surrounding it. In the barrels of the ancient cellars of the Badia, the famous Chianti Antinori wine is aged.
There are no words to describe the emotion you will feel when you see Badia a Passignano. The spectacular monastery is nestled among the cypress trees on the top of a hill where it dominates the entire area.
You will feel the charm and fascination as soon as you start walking up the road to Badia
Walking towards Badia, you will not be able to take in all of the magnificent hills of vineyards, olive groves and ancient farmhouses around you. Then, about 3 km along the road, the incredible view of Badia a Passignano will surprise you just beyond a bend in the road, and suddenly you will see the bell tower, the church towers, the cypress trees, outlined every day in the fiery light of the sunset: it is around this time I recommend you get there!
Badia is a treasure trove of history and artistic masterpieces. The founder of the Vallombrosian monks’ order, San Giovanni Gualberto, who died in 1073, is buried here. His tomb is inside the church in the left Chapel that was entirely decorated in 1580 by Alessandro Allori, a Florentine painter of the court of the Medici family. The main Chapel was totally renovated by the painter Domenico Cresti, known as ‘The Passignano’ because he was born here, in a nearby farmhouse run by the monks.
Make sure you visit the monastery. In the large refectory, dating back to the Renaissance, the fresco depicting the Last Supper is one of the first masterpieces by Domenico Ghirlandaio, created in 1476, when the painter was at the beginning of his career. It is amazing that, despite traumatic events over the last two centuries, the wonderful ancient kitchen of the monks has been preserved, including the monumental hearth and everything to prepare lunches and dinners for the monks!
One of the many illustrious people that visited here was Galileo Galilei, who stayed in the monastery where he taught mathematics for a brief period
Your experience will come to a close in the Italian garden, with its fountain, box hedges, lemon trees in large terracotta vases and the crenellated wall enclosing it. Peace, silence, and the sounds of nature make it an extraordinary place for your peace of mind!
And then, before returning to your well-deserved rest at the B&B Palazzo Malaspina, how about a break for dinner in one of the famous restaurants in the village?