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Cloister of Santa Maria di Follina

The beautiful and serene cloister of Santa Maria di Follina was built around 1268, with the church itself completed in 1335. This area was supported by the making of wool for many years, and this textile industy flourished until the 17th century. Inside the church is an ancient stone Madonna dating from the 10th century. The church and cloisters are open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 1:45, and from 2:30 to 7 p.m. daily at no charge. There is a 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. mass daily in the church as well. If you are in the area, it is well worth a visit to this lovely spot. This abby was literally across the street from our hotel.

This place really got to me. It was so quiet and peaceful with just the gentle sounds of trickling water from fountains. Inside the church, the ancient stone Madonna was unlike any I have ever seen. I lit several candles for friends and special intentions, and had a good cry. It was a very moving experience to be there. We could hear the bell tower every hour from our room or terrace. We walked around it at night, and it is stunning in darkness with the cloisters illuminated in soft light. I hope you enjoy the slide show. Notice the different carving (twisted, herringbone, etc.) on the columns inside the cloister. I don't think the photos can get across the emotional sense of the place, but it was a very spiritual and calming place for me.

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Comments (4)

Sheena:

What a beautiful post. I felt your calm.

I am just off to the dentist so will keep your words, photos and the music in my head whilst sitting in the chair!

LisaF:

Thank you for this post. I understand about lighting the candles and the 'good cry'. I've had several places in Italy where I had that reaction.

jane:

This is why I love and miss Italy so much.

I second what you said and third what LisaF said. Just back from San Minatro and heard gregorian chant for the first time in many, many years. The quietness of the church, the serene setting seemingly up in the clouds of Florence and only two people in the church gave me 'chicken skin' and a few tears.

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