There is much conflicting information regarding the year the abbey was founded. In Pietro Aretino’s biography of San Zanobi, he states that the archbishop of Florence founded the Passignano monastery in 395, however the monastery’s oldest documents are dated 891.
In 1049 the Badia became property of Vallombrosian order, a reformed branch of the Benedictines who specialized in viticulture and forestry.
Historical archives in the monastery report many prominent events, including the stay of Galileo Galilei in 1587-1588 as a mathematics teacher.
The monastery has undergone restoration and conservation work that has changed its structure and appearance over the centuries.