The monumental architectural complex of Montesenario, belongs to the order of the servants of Mary, and is situated on the Summit of the mountain at about 800 m above sea level.
In 1233, seven noble Florentines retreated to this place to a hermit’s life, taking the name of the servants of Mary. For some years they lived in meditation in small cells carved into the living rock, till, in 1241, received as a gift from the Bishop Castle ruins, built the first monastery.
Thus was born the order of servants of Mary, who by then was located in the sanctuary of monte Senario and from there it spread throughout the world.
The architectural structure of the original nucleus was amended on several occasions, in particular in 1400, and since then followed other extensive modifications and expansions that led to the current architectural complex.
It consists of several buildings: the Church of s. Maria, recently restored to its 18th-century splendour, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, remarkable work of g. battista Foggini, the chapel of the seven Saints, which houses the remains of the seven founding fathers, the choir, with 18th-century carved Walnut seats; the convent, with the 15th-century cloister and the Medici cistern with a large panoramic terrace.
The numerous works of art date back to the 17th century, as the large fresco of the last supper by Matteo Rosselli in the refectory and the crucifix in polychrome stucco of Ferdinando Tacca, over the high altar.
The main buildings are flanked by the caves and the cells at one time inhabited by the servants of Mary and the icebox, 19th-century of unique architecture, considered Italy’s biggest of its kind.
The Montesenario Convent is a kind of panoramic Tower across the Valley green, but also a place of art and history.
From the side you can visit the caves and the cells at one time inhabited by the servants of Mary and the icebox, 19th-century of unique architecture, considered Italy’s biggest of its kind. Do not miss a visit to the bar and small shop of religious items.