Places of worship
Abbey of San Salvatore on Mount Amiata
According to legend, the centuries-old church was founded by the Lombard king Ratchis
Abbazia di San Salvatore
Via Fosso Canali, 44, 53021 Abbadia San Salvatore SI, Italia

The Abbey of San Salvatore gives its name to the village of Abbadia San Salvatore, on Mount Amiata, and has a very long history. According to the legend, Christ appeared to the Lombard king Ratchis above a silver fir in 743. The Abbey was then rebuilt around 1035 in a Romanesque style, with a high and narrow fa├žade and two bell towers, one of which remained unfinished. It was at its height the 10th to the 12th century when pilgrims travelled regularly along the Via Francigena.

The church was restored in the 1930s and inside you can admire a polychromed wooden crucifix from the end of the 12th century and two 17th-century works by Francesco Nasini: the Legend of king Ratchis and the Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew.

The crypt is also noteworthy. Older than the church itself, it probably dates back to the 7th century. There are thirty-two columns with capitals, each decorated with animals, plants and geometric motifs. For almost a thousand years, the abbey was home to the Codex Amiatinus or the Amiatina Bible, the oldest manuscript copy of the Bible in Latin.

There is a small museum in the cloister that preserves and exhibits some liturgical treasures of the abbey and of nearby churches. Among the pieces on display are a bust-reliquary of Pope Saint Mark, some votive offerings and a fragment of a majolica floor from the Madonna del Castagno Sanctuary in Abbadia San Salvatore.