For years now I've been driving past a sign for Abbazia di Farneta, Farneta Abbey on my way to Florence. I've always been curious to stop by and take a look and I finally did! Before visiting, I did some research on the internet and most every site had a picture of the Abbey only from the outside similar to the one above. I was surprised and thrilled to find that it was even more impressive inside!
I am particularly fascinated (that's a nice way of saying 'obsessed') with religious statues, especially those of the Madonna and Child. To the left of the alter was a statue of the Madonna and Child decorated with rosary beads and ribbons. In her outstretched right hand was a basket filled with hand-written prayers on various scraps of paper. There was even one written on the back of an electric bill! The Abbey was built by Benedictine Monks before the year 1000 and it wasn't until 1940 that the Crypt below was discovered. The Crypt contains columns and capitals of Roman origin with granite from Egypt and the Orient as well as marble columns also from the Orient. If you find yourself near Cortona, it's worth a visit!