Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Certosa del Galluzzo

Since the lab was essentially shut down today due to the wedding of one of my labmates, I had a rare free day during the week. In addition to sleeping late, we decided to visit Certosa del Galluzzo, a 14th century Carthusian monastery a little south of town, but still reachable by city bus. We got there and walked up the hill on which the monastery is located just in time for a guided tour by one of the monks, the only way to see the inside of the monastery. Unfortunately, the tour was only in Italian and a bit rushed, but we did get to see the artistic treasures kept there, including many busts from the della Robbia workshop in the cloister. On the way out we went by the monastery shop and got some liquor distilled by the monks themselves.

The Carthusians are probably one of the most strict orders, with a significant number of monks having shut themselves off from all contact with the outside world. An interesting film, Into Great Silence, recently documented life in a Carthusian monastery and gives an interesting perspective into the order.

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