What to see
Monte Oliveto Maggiore (Asciano; 30 k East of Siena)
When you travel through the so called Crete from Siena to Asciano you can take close to Asciano the road towards the abbey Monte Oliveto Maggiore. This beautifully located abbey is certainly worth a journey. Building of the abbey started in 1313 and it is an abbey of the Benedictine monks. When you go there you will have to visit the so called Claustrum where you can admire 36 beautiful 15th century frescoes painted by Luca Signorelli and Il Sodoma. Once you have visited the abbey, continue towards the small town of San Giovanni d’Asso. Just before you reach this small place, you will have a very special park called Il Bosco della Ragnaia on your right hand site. Park your car there and walk around in this fantasy world shaped by an American artist.
The island of Santorini is known by many tourists for its nature and beaches. However not too many take the time to visit the excavation in a place called Akrotiri. Here archaeologists are busy since many years to discover a town which dates back to very ancient Greek days. The town was covered by ash from a volcano in 1628 BC. This volcanic eruption finished the old, Minoic civilisation as well as the high level of civilisation in Akrotiri. Little if anything was known about Akrotiri and its civilisation until the excavations started. When you visit this place you will be surprised how far advanced civilisation was in the 17th century BV. It is a good way to combine a holiday on a nice island with some historical detective work.
Philip van Hilten
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