5 reasons to visit the abbey of San Godenzo

The Abbey of San Godenzo told by Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort

A few kilometers from Florence, on the road that connects Tuscany with Romagna, lies the beautiful town of San Godenzo. Here are 5 reasons to visit the famous abbey of San Godenzo!

The history of the Abbey

An ancient tradition wants that the abbey of San Godenzo was built on a small church built in the previous era in honor of San Gaudenzio.

San Gaudenzio, a hermit from Campania, arrived in Tuscany between the fifth and sixth centuries and together with three other companions settled in the mountains of the Alpe di San Benedetto.

Tradition says that on the day of the saint’s death, the people and the clergy himself, to obey him, put his body on a cart drawn by the oxen and accompanied him in a solemn procession. It is said that the oxen, coming down the Alpe mule-track, suddenly stopped, no longer wanting to move from that precise point. This stubborn attitude of the oxen was interpreted as an important message and in that place it was decided to erect the small church, on which then, two centuries later, the current Abbey of San Godenzo would have been built.

Dante and the Abbey of San Godenzo

This vast territory on the border with Romagna, lying partly on the slopes of Mount Falterona, was for a short time the place of political asylum of a great poet forced into exile from Florence: Dante Alighieri.

In fact, Dante found himself moving to San Godenzo, fleeing from the soldiers of the Florentine Republic.

It was in those years and during the passage for the ridge of that Apennine, which probably matured the idea of what would soon become his greatest literary work: the Divine Comedy.

5 reasons to visit the abbey of San Godenzo

1. The journey of Dante: From the abbey of San Godenzo you can take the old medieval road which, most likely, was the road that Dante made to enter Romagna.
2. Discover a jewel of Romanesque architecture: The structure of the church is very reminiscent of the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte in Florence. The structure is typically Romanesque, consisting of three naves with a presbytery raised above the floor and two flights of stairs to the side of the nave.
3. The beautiful crypt: The beautiful crypt that opens at the end of the Church, and which is accessed by descending a step, strongly reminds the architectural layout of San Miniato.
4. Relive the story: In 1302, inside the abbey of San Godenzo, there was a famous meeting between Florentine exiles in which Dante Alighieri also participated.
5. Dante mosaic: In the twentieth century the Abbey was enriched with many art works including the great Dantesque mosaic in the apse cap depicting the “Crowning of the Virgin Mary”.

The abbey of San Godenzo is also surrounded by beautiful forests that offer wonders in every season. The same Dante from the Fortress of the Mirror, armed garrison of the Guidi, entered the forest that runs along the stream of San Godenzo heading towards Romagna.

If you also want to visit the beautiful abbey of San Godenzo we are waiting for you at Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort!

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