via Fornace, 1512 - 55050 Massa Pisana (Lu)
The convent of San Cerbone
San Cerbone is an ancient convent with a long history that reaches up to the present day. Nestled in the woods on the hills between Lucca and Pisa, a place of spirituality that organizes spiritual exercises open to all but also welcomes groups or individuals who wish to retreat to an environment surrounded by nature, silence and spirituality. The events of the convent are lost in the meanders of history: the first documents that mention it date back to the 9th century in which a church dedicated to San Cerbone is indicated. From a chapter act of the cathedral of Lucca in the year 1140 it is noted that a monastery of Benedictine nuns called the Ascension was formed in this church and in 1234 it passed to the Cistercian nuns. In 1295 the church and monastery were destroyed by a fire and the nuns were forced to take refuge in Lucca. San Cerbone was rebuilt, but its location, in the delicate border between Lucca and Pisa, inevitably and continuously exposed it to the struggles between the two cities. It suffered numerous other damages and began to decay until in 1441 it passed to a group of observant friars minor and in 1577 the convent of San Cerbone was assigned to another Franciscan community, the Reformed Minors, who placed their novitiate there and carried out numerous works. The convent suffered numerous damage during the Second World War and the building found itself in a very bad state, inhabited by a small number of friars. In 1950, the management of the old convent passed to the congregation of the "Daughters of St. Francis de Sales" who rented it for a certain period and later bought it and became the owners in 1961. At first used as a novitiate house and spiritual exercises for the sisters, it later became a retreat and retreat house open to all.