Localita' S. Antimo, 222, 53024 Castelnuovo dell'Abate SI, Italy
Austere Sounds of the Monks in MontalcinoClad in white robes tied at the waist with cords, the handful of monks enter solemnly into the small ancient abbey and take their places in the choir pews. I closed my eyes and listened to harmonies fill the stone space. At the Sant'Antimo Abbey near Montalcino, Italy, you can listen to the monks carry out their daily routine of "chants." I went out of my way to witness one of these performances, which happen independent of the tourists who come to see them. I often feel that European Catholic structures are gratuitously overstated. In this small space, built with the same medieval architectural elements as other large ones, I felt much more comfortable and accepting of this faith. The monks' voices seemed almost to understate the architecture. It was a very meditative experience.