In the heart of Tuscany, not far from Siena, in the municipality of Chiusdino to be exact, there is a green plain surrounded by hills that acts a theatre to a mysterious and charming roofless abbey, that of San Galgano.
A halo of legend envelops this great structure covered only by the sky and the stars: a short distance away is the sword that the Galgano knight miraculously stuck in the stone before becoming a hermit. The sword at that point, by divine will, was fixed in the stone, making it possible for anyone to extract it.
The knight’s intention was to symbolize the definitive abandonment of s dissolute life, made of excesses, in favour of an existence marked by religion and austerity.
The many mystical, and esoteric, theories originating around this territory contribute to give it an aura of magic that makes it unique and certainly strikes deeply into the heart of every visitor.
Generally, many tend to consider a civil ceremony wedding to be something aseptic and cold, especially when compared to the religious one. However, this notion collapses before the irresistible mystic momentum that emanates from this age-old building, which in reality is a vast architectural complex that includes a gothic church, what remains of the monastery and, in the immediate vicinity, the circular hermitage that is home to the tomb of San Galgano and the famous sword.
It is possible, with prior authorization from the municipal authorities, to get married in the Abbey of San Galgano and is a choice that many couples do just to live the “yes” moment in an almost surreal setting, suspended between history and myth, in an incredibly stimulating location whose charm is amplified by the beauty of the Tuscan countryside, which completely surrounds the structure contributing to give it a fairy-tale look.
If you are worried about finding yourself celebrating your wedding in the middle of a crowd of tourists, rest assured that this will not happen because, for the entire duration of the ceremony, it is closed to the public to ensure the privacy of the wedding couple and their guest.
Those who wish to get married in a civil ceremony in San Galgano should contact the Municipality of Chiusdino Ass. Cultura e Turismo at the following telephone number +39 0577 756738 or 751055.
The religious ceremony in San Galgano is celebrated in the hermitage of Montesiepi, a sacred building constructed in the Middle Ages above the hut where the saint had lived the last period of his life; here you will find, protected by a reliquary, the sword that the man thrust into the stone more than 800 years ago.
Various beliefs circulate around this church, including one that Holy Grail could be found here, the most precious relic of Christendom, or the chalice used by Jesus at the Last Supper or the cup in which his blood, dripping from the cress, was collected, an object which, though spasmodically searched in every age, has never been found.
The scarce information regarding the value, and peculiarity, of the hermitage is sufficient for understanding its charm and the reasons that drive so many lovers to want to exchange their promises of love inside its ancient and severe walls.
The Chapel, entirely frescoed by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, its rather small, so it is a good idea to carefully evaluate the number of guests beforehand.
WEDDING VENUES (RECEPTION)
In the extraordinary seductive landscape around the Abbey of San Galgano flourish a host of perfect venues for celebrating your wedding with family and friends.
Borgo Santo Pietro, is a luxury wedding venue in the Tuscan countryside near the Abbey of San Galgano. This luxury resort has won many awards. It’s among the best 25 resorts in Europe and the world, TOP 10 hotels and resorts in Italy, TOP 25 luxury hotels in Italy and TOP 20 food and wine resorts. The chef is Michelin starred and, as you can imagine, only too happy to assist you with planning the menu for the wedding banquet.
A perfect wedding location for your intimate wedding day set in an organically cultivated 200-acre estate.
Who hasn’t had a childhood dream of a wedding celebrated and tested in a fairy-tale setting?
This is what the Tenuta di Papena offers, a wonderful, peaceful, nook totally immersed in the brilliant green of the Tuscan hills. Derived from the skilful renovation of an ancient Cistercian monastery, the estate allows you to organize the wedding banquet in its beautiful internal hall, which can accommodate up to 150 guests, characterized by architectural details that will certainly not go unnoticed.
Would you prefer an outdoor reception? If the weather permits, the small and village square and the area around the pool are also available for you.
Here, the staff leave nothing to change and everything is taken care of in the minutest details for a perfectly successful event: the spaces used are decorated with taste and refinement, as is the choice of the menu which is varied gastronomy that combines the best of local and Mediterranean tradition. If you would like to extend your stay, there are prestigious rooms and apartments at your disposal.
The Villa Podernovo, near Siena and only 7 kms from San Galgano, is an enchanting location for a rural-chic wedding reception. The 18th century villa, which has a pool, is surrounded by laws and privet woodland of oak and chestnut trees. It is also an ideal place to spend a holiday with family and friends after the wedding in its enchanting apartments.
The Agriturismo & Casale San Galgano is fully immersed in the rolling hills of Val di Merse, not far from Siena, and consists of two old farmhouses with a courtyard where you can set up parties and banquets throughout the year. Depending on the season, you can choose to arrange the reception inside or outside, according to your preferences and the inspiration of the moment. The cuisine offered is, above all, typical of Tuscany, with selected fresh ingredients for high quality results that will delight the plates of your guests. Would you like to remain for a few days in this oasis of peace and tranquillity? There are 12 rooms available, equipped with every comfort, ready to welcome you and any guests that might like to stay on.
More and more couples choose to organize their wedding reception at an agriturismo (farm holiday location), a structure that allows you to combine good food and love for nature in the best of ways. But if the farm has a building dating back to 1200 everything acquires an incomparable charm. The same aura that pervades entirely at the Mulino delle Pile, a farmhouse whose name reflects the presence of a mill; the interior space consists of a restaurant La Vecchia Macina, with an internal room and a terrace, whilst outside there is a gazebo, poolside area and lawn, which are all perfect settings for a wedding banquet.
The Abbey of San Galgano and its surroundings are the ideal backdrop for original and romantic wedding photos. How do you choose one place rather than another in such a suggestively rich, natural and architectural environment? In practice, every stone and every tree here deserve to be immortalized.
So free your imagination, let yourself be carried away by the euphoria and joy that only the day of the “I do” can install in the soul and allow yourself to be taken back in time to wherever you like!
For a civil ceremony, the images taken inside the deconsecrated abbey should not fail to show the main peculiarity of the building, or the absence of a roof, that gives it another much more significant and majestic effect, of sky and stars. For a religious ceremony, photographs in the small chapel should also linger on the beautiful frescoes of Lorenzetti and, of course, the sword in the stone that makes this place famous.
The entire San Galgano area is a perfect, unique, setting, for a photographic service of high visual and emotional impact, as a place of mystical and even magical connotations, that cannot possibly fail to amaze.
Apparently, even VIPs are unable to escape the irresistible call of San Galgano, and some of them choose this abbey in which to celebrate their marriage.
As did Kimi Raikkonen, the Ferrari F1 driver who in the summer of 2016 married his girlfriend Minttu Virtanen here; the two exchanged promises of love between the unadorned and deconsecrated walls of the Abbey, with a civil ceremony. An impressive security service kept curious visitors away from the event, but it was still widely documented by specialised magazines.
As usual, when there is a wedding, the building was close to the public for a few hours. Immediately after the ceremony, the entire group, including some well-known names appertaining to the Scuderia di Maranello (the Ferrari racing team), moved to Villa Santo Pietro, an ancient medieval residence where guest could completely abandon themselves to the party and the joy of the occasion.