Camaldoli, Abbey of
CAMALDOLI, ABBEY OF
The name of (1) the cenobitical monastery, lying at a height of 2,680 feet in the Tuscan-Romagnese Appenines, commune of Poppi, civil province and Diocese of Arezzo, and (2) of the eremitical monastery, two miles farther up (3,610 feet) in the midst of forest land. Both monasteries were built by St. romuald, founder of the camaldolese congregation, on land granted by Count Maldoli to Romuald (1012–15), the name Camaldoli being formed from Campus Maldoli . The hermitage, with its characteristic separation of the monks' dwellings from each other by small cultivated plots of ground, served as the model for other Camaldolese eremitical foundations. Consecrated in 1027, its Romanesque-style church was
almost entirely rebuilt in 1220; the present baroque form dates from 1658. The once-great library was destroyed in the Napoleonic and Italian suppressions. The archives are now preserved almost intact in the state archives in Florence. The monks continue to lead a strict life of almost continuous prayer and rigorous penance and observe complete silence. The monastery proper was, like the hermitage, built by St. Romuald c. 1015. Originally, it was a hospice and guest house. In order that the hermit-monks might devote themselves entirely to the contemplative life, it was later organized into a cenobitical monastery. Today it consists of a 16th-century church with works by Vasari, a cloister with monks' quarters, and a section reserved for lay retreats. There is a printing press, a pharmacy, and since 1946 a workshop for the restoration of books and incunabula.
Bibliography: g. b. mittarelli and a. costadoni, Annales camaldulenses, 9 v. (Venice 1755–73). p. f. kehr, Regesta Pontificum Romanorum (Berlin 1906–35) 3:171–185. l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topo-bibliographique des abbayes et prieurés (Mâcon 1935–39) 1:567–569. a. giabbani, L'eremo (Brescia 1945).