Abbey of San Galgano

Tarkovsky's Italian spiritual place
This is the Abbey of San Galgano - a 13th-century abbey in the province of Siena, Tuscany, Italy. It's not a cinema museum, but it became a filming location - perfect geometry of lines, space, light, atmosphere of abandonment, but centuries old history and memories the remained interior still possesses. The abbey would never have been built unless there was a man named Galgano Guidotti lived in 12th, who enjoyed wars and violence in his early years, but later abandoned it, became a hermit and spent the rest of his life in prayers. After his death, Galgano was proclaimed a saint and the monks built a monastry near his hermitage. In the beginning it prospered, but then started suffering from roving condottieri and began its decay first financially, then spiritiually - making the monks leave, and then physically - falling into ruins when the locals started to use the stone to build and repair their own properties. Some restorations occurred only in the 19th and 20th. Despite the essentially ruined state the abbey is considered one of the most important religious monuments in Tuscany and the greatest of the gothic style monasteries in Italy.

Oksana Belousova
CEO & Founder of MY KINOROOM, Film Director
No wonder that back in 1983 Andrey Tarkovsky chose this location to shoot one of the key scenes for "Nostalgia" where he tells a story of immigration, loneliness, abandonment and longing for inner home and a sense of belonging. "Nostalgia" would turn out to be semi-autobiographical to Tarkovsky's own experiences visiting Italy and upcoming immigration itself, as if foreseeing the inevitable he would capture on film his own nostalgia, recreating from polaroid photos the images of his home in Russia.

One more interesting fact that welcomes you right at the door of San Galgano is that dogs are allowed inside, maybe the tradition started from Tarkovsky's film where the dog was one of the characters or not, but you can bring your best friend here to introduce to the art and culture!

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