Farneta's Abbey (its name comes from latin "farnia", a kind of oak) stands out in all of its majesty on the top of a hill, surrounded by olive trees and sunflowers, and a few meters away from the Hotel.
The Abbey was founded between the 9th and 10th centuries by the Benedictines Monchs and as often happened it was dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption. In the 16th century, after a short rule by the "Commendatari" Abbots, it was ruled by the "Olivetani" Monchs from Monte Uliveto Maggiore (near Siena) and from 1780 by the secular clergy of Cortona's Diocese.
Untill a few years ago, the Abbey was ruled by His Grace Sante Felici, who took charge of it in 1937: it was His Grace Felici himself who restored and gave new splendour to the Abbey and its treasures, which had been for a long time forgotten or lost. One above all has to be mentioned: the Crypt is one of the Abbey's most precious jewels and it was brought to life in the 1940's thanks to the untiring work of His Grace Felici after it had been forgotten for about 350 years.
The church is in pre-romanesque style and it has the classical shape of a 'T', that is a latin cross without the head. As usual for that period, its apses are positioned towards the east, that is towards the light, the sun, or better the Saviour according to Christian symbolism. The two roman columns made from eastern granite and standing at the front of the church are the unique surviving elements of the original cloister. The two capitals instead are copies of the original, which are preserved in Florence and Arezzo.
[ for further information have a look at Valdichiana.it ]
Hotel Ristorante Farneta - An oasis at the centre of culture
loc. Farneta, 3 - 52042 Cortona (AR)
tel 0575.610.241 / 0575.610.013 - fax 0575.610.241