English Info


The history of the Benedictine community that lives and continuous to have lived in this monastery since 1036 to today you/he/she can be divided in 4 great periods:

from the foundation (1036) to 1300 around
from 1300 to 1500 around
from 1500 to 1800
from 1800 to 1960

The history of the community
From the foundation (1036) to 1300 around
It is the epoch of the fervor of the beginnings and the impulse given by the founder. L’ “brotherly union” in the single communities and among the monasteries – the cosidetto vinculum caritatis et consuetudinis – under the guide of the greatest abbot it found expression especially in the annual assembly to Vallombrosa of the superior, in I exchange him/it people and things favoring common customs as sign of affinity and collaboration. It is the gold epoch of the history of Vallombrosa and the expansion of the congregation both in the center and north Italy that in Sardinia. We know that in 1160 the monks of Vallombrosa were present in 57 monasteries with their dependences.

The history of the community
From 1300 to 1500 around
It is the epoch of the “he/she commends”, that consisted in the conferment of the title of abbot (superior) of a monastery to an extraneous from the apostolic Center. The abbot commendatario was interested not usually far however in the inside life of the community, but to the administration of its temporal good of which it profited to a large extent. It was without doubt a period of decadence both for the communities and for the congregation, although the monastery of Vallombrosa has never been granted in he/she commends.

The history of the community
From 1500 to 1800
It is a period less uniform, initially it is assisted to a spiritual resumption, due to the influence practiced by the Council of Trento (1545-1563), Vallombrosa returns to be a center of spirituality and culture, as it attests among the others s. Charles Borromeo that it came you in 1575. There was also a great economic development that has left his/her deep trace in the grandeur of the actual abbatial complex.
With the Enlightenment the insertion of the monks was accented in the cultural and scientific activities. It makes part of the monastic tradition that the monks are not extraneous to the social one; this way the monks vallombrosanis were devoted to various activity to benefit of the society: agriculture in the lowland, forestry in mountain, construction and management of hospitals and places of reception for the pilgrims.
Already from 1300 the abbot Michele Flammini had dictated some norms for a rational forestry. From halves the century XVII up to the beginnings of the XIX he go forming a school of botanical and forest sciences.
We remember at least the most known botanists and selvicoltori: V. Fallugi (+ 1707), B. Biagi (+1735), B. Stumpy (+ 1743), G.F. Maratti (+1777), F. Vittman (+1806).
To the cultural development of the community the scriptorium of the abbey contributed, where since the century XI was transcribed the liturgical books, patristic texts, agiografici and classical. This patrimony is guarded in various Italian libraries and foreigners today. In the second halves 1700 had also opened a college to Vallombrosa for the education of the young people.
Particular mention must also be made for the hermitage of the Cells, better known as “Paradisino”, that the abbey dominates, where you/they have conducted life eremitica some monks up to halves last century. In this hermitage, from 1743 to 1771, it brought the art of the scagliola to the perfection the monk Henry Hugford, that left a valuable artistic patrimony beginning a school that has in the Florentine Lamberto Gori the most valid representative.

The history of the community
From 1800 to 1960
It is the epoch of the suppressions effected by the government authorities.
October 10 th 1810 for the first time the monks were forced to abandon the abbey. They reentered January 16 th 1818 with 15 priests and 16 brothers.
In 1866, year of the application in Tuscany of the Italian laws concerning the suppression of the religious institutes, to the monks you/he/she was again removed the abbey that August 15 th 1869 became center of the first Forest Institute of Italy, to which the prosecution of a job was submitted developed from more centuries from the monks.
Community monastic L nevertheless it was not extinguished, but it kept on living to Pescia (Pistoia) up to his/her return to Vallombrosa, happened in 1949 and made possible by the transfer of a part of the monastery. You/he/she had remained in the center a small number of monks for the liturgical service of the abbatial church, that August 29 th 1906 was erected to mons parish however. David Camilli, bishop of Fiesole. The whole building of the abbey has been granted then leasing to the monks from March 1961.
In 1957, to work of the competent authorities he has had beginning the complex work of restauration of the abbey, declared national monument in 1951.