Posted by: Debra Kolkka | October 17, 2019

Lunch and an Abbey

After our visit to The Mall (previous post) we ventured on to Regello, a pretty town not far away. Regello is about 30 kilometres south east of Florence. It is surrounded by gorgeous forests of beech and fir trees.

We had lunch at La Gastronomia, a busy family restaurant in a pretty part of the town. It is clearly a popular place to visit. We saw lots of hotels and accommodation seemingly in the middle of nowhere. I think the promise of walking through the forests brings people to the area.


Lunch was great…take a look. The prosciutto was excellent as was the rabbit, the grilled porcini mushroom and the ossobuco. First prize goes to the perfect pannacotta.

A guided visit to the Abbazia di Valombrosa had been organised. It is a few kilometres out of the town. The lovely drive took us through some of the forest.

The Benedictine Abbey was founded by Giovanni Gualbert, a Florentine noble, in 1038 and it became the mother house of the Vallumbrosan order.

It was extended in 1450. In 1529 the east tower was built. The wall was built in the 17th century and the fishing ponds in the 18th century. There are now well established gardens within the walls.

There is a shop where you can buy books and produce, jams, sweets and gin, made by the monks.

Father Marco guided us through the beautiful church and cloister.

My favourite room was the enormous kitchen. At one time there must have been a lot more than the 6 monks who now take care of the Abbey.

In 1869 Il Regio Istituto Forestale was established beside the Abbey. It was the first of its kind in Italy.

It is possible to do guided walks in the stunning forest…another day.

Thank you Raffaela and Steve for organising the visit. Having our own guide was excellent.


  1. The Abbey is really worth a visit!

    • It is! I would also like to do the forest walk.

  2. It seems like such a peaceful way to spend the day…!

    • It is a beautiful place.

  3. We also visited this beautiful timeless abbey in the forest. I always look at the hand painted platter we bought there, that was made for this abbey, to bring back this visit when I’m back in Sydney. We so enjoyed this area when we stayed in Regello.

    • The forest was a lovely surprise. We stayed in Regello many years ago, but I have no recolllection of the forest.

  4. What a perfect way to spend a gorgeous sunny day! 😀

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