Santuario francescano della Verna
We decided to visit the abbey of La Verna after reading at some blog of its importance, we did not regret it, and certainly we must add it to our “recommended spots of interest” in Tuscany.
The landscape of the region of Casentino is marked by the unique profile of Monte Penna that straddles the rock with its lines and its forest covered by the rolling pastures and sparse woods that extend towards the valley of the Tiber. The cliff, on which the abbey was built, is known as Monte della Verna from the monastic citadel perched on a natural terrace of its western slope-is a place of great beauty and is full of potent mystical inspiration.
The history of the place began in 1213, when Count Orlando Cattani, feudal lord of the castle of Chiusi, gave the place as a gift to St. Francis during their meeting there. In those days, the whole area was wild and sparsely inhabited caves by bandits, Francis had particular affection to this place. In 1218 the work was completed for the construction of the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, which began two years before with the help of Count Orlando.
Thanks to the indulgences granted by Pope Innocent IV for the construction and maintenance of the sanctuary, which began building the garrison of these holy places, continued without interruption until the present day.
The Cloister, managed by Franciscan Capuchin monks, is 78 km from La Mucchia, if the roads are not crowded, you can easily make it within and hour and twenty minutes.
You take the road to Arezzo through Camucia, passing Castiglion Fiorentino, then crossing Arezzo looking for the SP71 to Bibbiena, once you reach Rassina, turn right to Chiusi della Verna and it is nearby, you will notice the signs of the cloister. There are 2 restaurants there, there is fix menu which cost euro 16 a person and you can eat full meal, in 2 turns, 12.30 and 14.30.
The entrance is free of charge, there is the museum, the church, small private cells to pray alone or with small group, there is spectacular view from the cliff, old forests with treks to walk around for miles in good and safe paths.