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Back of the Badia di Vaiano with bell tower
Back of the Badia di Vaiano with bell tower

The Abbey of S. Salvatore and Museum

The Abbey of S. Salvatore in Vaiano, was built by Benedictine monks in the ninth/tenth century. It was rebuilt in the eleventh-twelfth century probably after the transfer to the Vallumbrosans. Other changes were made in the thirteenth century with the construction of the bell tower and in the fifteenth century with the construction of the Renaissance cloister. Later redecorations over the centuries, have permitted to bring to light the ruins of pre-existing buildings. More specifically, the works of 1996 have rediscovered the old smaller church with apse and various burials of Lombard discent dating back to the eighth century. The facade of the church, has a regular ashlar facade made in alberese stone. At the back there is a bell tower, 40 metres high, built around 1260. The interior is with three naves, completely plastered. The Cloister of the Abbey is of Renaissance period. The monastic rooms are articulated around it. Now, the wide corridors and many rooms of the monastery preserve trompe l'œil decorations, celebratory coats of arms and fiction landscapes.

The Museum of the Vaiano Abbey was reopened to the public in 1999 after meticulous restoration works. The museum itinerary is developed in the rooms that were part of the monastery refectory and of the apartment of the abbot and shows, through archaeological finds and sacred art works, the function of the monastery in the territory. The thematic rooms document the food uses and the daily life of the Vaiano monks as well as the monastery liturgy ceremonies. Other themes are the ones connected with the life of the Society and of the Congreghe. A section hosts furnishing and paintings from the Pieve di Sofignano (parish church of Sofignano) and the church of Savignano.The complex is part of the Houses of Memory as residence of Agnolo Firenzuola.