The ruined Abbey of San Galgano
There's this place, at the edge of nothing in rural Tuscany, not particularly close to any of the major tourist cities, and outside the major bus circuits. It's quiet is interrupted only by the swaying of cypress trees in the wind and the rare tourist snapping photographs. This is the thirteenth century Abbey of San Galgano which now lies in ruins, roofless, windowless, and open to the sky.
The Abbey of San Galgano is about 30 km west of Siena, near Monticiano and Chiusidino. There is a restaurant and hotel directly across from the Abbey and a small winery cafe near the Abbey, but otherwise there's not much of anything around the Abbey. Aside from the beautiful Abbey, there is a hermitage on the hill known as Montisieno, which is famed for containing a sword stuck into a stone, perhaps the origin of the King Arthur tale . The legend goes that the saint San Galgano plunged the sword in the stone around 1180 when he gave up his sinful life to become a hermit. The monastery was built around the tomb of San Galgano. Both the monastery and the Abbey are the perfect spots to spend a sunny Tuscan afternoon.