Italy's Abbey of San Galgano was once a thriving hermitage, but a lack of protection from roving bandits soon saw the monastery fall into disrepair and eventually be decommissioned, leaving the stunning ruins to this day.
You come up to this abbey, transfixed by what's before you. It stands alone, just a short distance away from it with a discreet hotel and restaurant. You can't but be moved by its splendor when you enter.
It is the first Gothic cathedral built in Tuscany and has been here since the 1200s. A few minutes walk up the hill is a church where you can find the sword of San Galgano in the stone.
Legend has it that when he heard a voice telling him to give up his sinful ways, he embedded his sword in the stone. There are many sites where you can learn more about San Galgano. Enough to know that some scholars believe that King Arthur's legends might have originated here.
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