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San Galgano and The Sword in the Stone

San Galgano is a small town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, Italy. It is located about 35 km southeast of the city of Siena. It is best known for its Abbey, which is located just outside the town. The Abbey was founded in 1218 by San Galgano Guidotti, a hermit who lived in a cave on Montesiepi. San Galgano died in 1248 and was canonized in 1176. The Abbey was abandoned during the Napoleonic Wars but was later restored and is now a popular tourist destination.

San Galgano Abbey is one of the most important Tuscan monasteries and is immersed in a countryside far from the great contemporary transport routes. It is also well-known for the legendary sword, Excalibur.

Where is the sword of San Galgano?

In the stretch of Tuscany, between Siena and Massa Marittima, even the most distracted traveler will be impressed by the imperious remains of the San Galgano Abbey.

Its built perimeter gives only a partial idea of how rich and powerful this Cistercian abbey was in the Middle Ages. From the sanctification of San Galgano (1185) to its partial destruction by the troops of Giovanni Acuto (1380), began the period of decadence and abandonment by the monastic orders (1470).

On the hill overlooking the Abbey, it stands the oldest hermitage Montesiepi with his mysterious Excalibur, the sword that St. Galgano put into a rock when he decided to leave his life as a rich gentleman. Galgano’s gesture of peace and his short and intense life moved his contemporaries strongly.