A corner of Tibet near Pisa.Unknown places & works
A corner of Tibet near Pisa.
Pomaia is a small village in the Municipality of Santa Luce in Pisa and here, among the hills, is the largest Buddhist center in Europe. And that’s why this corner of Tuscany looks a bit like Tibet! The Lama Tzong Khapa Institute was founded in 1977 by two monks: Lama Thubten Yesce and Lama Thubten Zopa. The building, a villa that looks like a castle, was bought by the Corona family from Milan and has since been restored and adapted to its new function.
Its uniqueness is immediately evidenced by the large Buddha statue you can see outside: it is a very special statue because it was made by set designer Dante Ferretti for Martin Scorsese's Kundun movie. Around there are many other elements of the Buddhist tradition such as the white stupas (reliquaries that preserve sacred objects), flags and prayer wheels. Inside there is also a gompa, a meditation and study room, which is accessed strictly without shoes and where you sit on the ground on soft cushions.
Why do people visit the Buddhist center of Pomaia? For many different reasons, so much so that there are not only monks. In fact, courses on Buddhist philosophy are run at the Institute, some of which last for several years but also seminars not only on Buddhism and meditation but also on health and well-being. You can simply visit it to immerse yourself for a few hours in a unique atmosphere where tranquility, peace and harmony reign supreme.
The actor Richard Gere is highly fond of this center and, together with his son, he visited it unannounced in the summer of 2019. The Dalai Lama himself often comes to stay when he travels to Italy: it happened in 1982, 1990, 2001 and in 2017.
Perhaps you did not expect that Tuscany has many little-known but fascinating gems. Even a city like Florence, incredibly, has so many little-known aspects that should be discovered. How? Simple! Book one of our tours in the unusual Florence section.
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