As we settled into spending a few days in the Tuscan countryside after leaving Florence we found we weren’t short of fun dog friendly activities. Knowing that one of our days would be spent exploring the Siena countryside on Vespas with our dog Tikka with us we sought out an easy adventure to get her used to being carried in her new backpack.
We took a couple bikes out from our hotel (check back for an upcoming review) and traveled up the road a few miles to explore the surroundings and only 15 minutes into our trip we stopped at the incredible Abbey of San Galgano.
Once you turn off the main road, you are welcomed by an incredible row of cypress tress, leading you to the Abbey. It’s a fantastic spot for a leisurely picnic with your dog as it has everything: Open fields for having a good run around, gorgeous views, lots of quiet places to set up lunch, and a bit of history that you can absorb at your own pace with your dog right beside you.
The Abbey of Saint Galgano is nestled between the towns of Chiusdino and Monticiano, in the Siena province of Tuscany. It’s a beautiful Gothic structure built in the 13th century by the Cistercian Monks. The roof has long disappeared due to a history of looting and corruption (removing the lead supports to sell off) but this gives it a unique, open air quality to the structure as the sky opens above you when you stand in the middle of the Abbey looking upwards.
Located at the same spot, just up a little hill is the unusual round chapel Rotanda di Montesiepi and the tomb of Saint Galgano that form the Hermitage of Monte Siepi. It’s only a 10 minute walk up a wooded path and worth the visit to see the ‘real’ sword of the stone that some debate started the famous King Arthur legend. The sword is said to have been thrust into the stone on the day that Galgano retired from serving as a Knight and embraced a peaceful hermit’s life until his death in 1181.
Tikka did well with her first backpack ride as she quickly settled into watching the world go by as the humans had to use their legs. We were confident that she was ready for her Vespa adventure (photos and info on our day out with scooters coming in another week).
If you are in the Siena area of Italy (35km South West from Siena to The Abbey of San Galgano) and looking for an afternoon or a few hours to spend in the countryside with your dog we can give a big paws up to coming to this historic site. For more info and directions visit the San Galgano page at Discover Tuscany.
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