Monks and monastery, history of the Charterhouse in Calci
Leaving behind the hustle and bustle of the city, you can reach a small village on the lower slopes of Monte Pisano, whose name comes from the Latin Calci, which means foot or heel of a mountain.
There are many things to do here, tasting the excellent local cuisine, hiking and visiting the monuments.
However the most important part is without doubt the Natural History Museum and the Charterhouse, which combine history, science and passion.
These share a strong bond but can be described individually, having established their own separate identity.
The Charterhouse in Calci, Pisa
The Charterhouse dates back to the 14th century and was established as a Carthusian monastery, where the monks retreated to live a life of seclusion and contemplation, without contact with the outside world.
The Charterhouse has been restored over time, first in the Napoleonic age, when French monks fled France due to the laws on monasteries, and subsequently to maintain this priceless cultural heritage site.
The guided tour at the Charterhouse in Calci
Today I would like to tell you about my impressions during the guided tour.
The first thing that you see on entering this huge architectonic complex is the white marble church facade which dates back to the 17th century, followed by the cloister with an octagonal monumental fountain in the centre.
The tour continues, moving through the small rooms where the monks retreated for prayer and contemplation. This is probably the area that impressed me the most, you can still feel the close and dark atmosphere of centuries past.
The cemetery is also very interesting: bare, small and narrow. The monks used to be buried without coffins or tombstones, not considered important for their journey to the afterlife.
The monks were isolated so they needed other people to farm the land, feed the animals and make sure that the monks had everything they needed.
Then the chemist’s, a source of income for the monks.
Last, but non least, you can admire the paintings in the refectory, among which the Last Supper by Bernardo Pocetti. There are other artworks throughout the Charterhouse, brought by the Grand Duke and his wife in their lifetime to adorn the part of the Charterhouse which was their historical residence.
A visit is definitely worthwhile!
The Charterhouse in Calci – Pisa
Via Roma, 56011 – Calci (PI)
Phone: +39 050 938430
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