Chiusure is a small village in the Crete senese in the Province of Siena in Tuscany.

Abbazia di Monte Oliveto


The only reason for most visitors to go to Chiusure is not to visit the village itself, but the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, which is up a hill a few hundred metres from the centre of the village. Chiusure is about half way between Buonconvento and Asciano, on a road that goes through a unique, pock-marked (Crete senese = Sienese craters), semi-arid region, but the abbey itself is on a hill green with cypresses.

Get in

By car

Best access is by car, and there is parking available on the hill where the abbey is situated.

By bus

SITA runs one bus on Linea 109/ A daily from Siena, leaving Porta Ovile at 13:58 (winter) or 14:12 (summer) and Porta Pispini at 14:01 (winter) or 14:14 (summer) and arriving at 14:50/15:05. However, the only bus returning to Siena from Chiusure leaves at 6:55 (regardless of season) and arrives at Porta Pispini at 7:44, thereby necessitating a night's stay in or very near Chiusure.

By train

Go to Asciano (8 km away) or Buonconvento (9 km away) and then take a taxi (Cassioli, 0577 71 82 73 in Asciano; Lorenzetti, 0577 80 60 94 or Tistoni, 333 3584410 in Buonconvento).

On foot

If you have thoughts of hiking through the Crete senese, plan carefully. The region is a semi-desert, without shade. Make sure to take plenty of water, especially in hot weather, and use a lot of sunscreen.


Life of St Benedict, Scene 28: Benedict Recognizes and Receives Totila, fresco by Luca Signorelli

The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore (Italian: Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore), an active monastery which most famously includes beautiful frescoes by Luca Signorelli - Michelangelo's teacher - in the Cloister. There are also frescoes by the Sienese painter, Antonio Bazzi, called "Il Sodoma" ("The Sodomite"). After you've seen those, it's worth looking at the fine intarsial woodwork in the Choir.


The beauty of the cypress-strewn hill and the monastery encourage quiet contemplation and appreciation of nature. That and viewing the frescoes in the cloister and the intarsial woodwork in the choir are the main activities for visitors to Chiusure.


There is a souvenir shop on top of the hill.


There is also a restaurant there.


The monks produce an herbal liqueur called Flora di Monteoliveto. It is for sale in the Liqueurery (Liquoreria) in the abbey and can also be ordered for delivery within Italy on the abbey's website.


Go next

Siena. If you didn't come from Siena in the first place, it is the most obvious place to go next.

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