The Camaldolese are part of the Benedictine family of monastic orders founded by St. Benedict in the sixth century. The Camaldolese branch was established through the efforts of the Italian monk St. Romuald in the eleventh century. His reform sought to revitalize the best of the communal and solitary dimensions of monastic life. Nearly a thousand years ago, St. Romuald founded the Hermitage of Camaldoli high in the mountains of central Italy. There are Camaldolese hermitages and monasteries throughout Italy. The most ancient is the urban monastery of St. Gregory the Great in the heart of Rome.
The Camaldolese order was brought to the United States of America in 1958, with the founding of New Camaldoli Hermitage in the Santa Lucia mountains of Big Sur, California. Additional U. S. Camaldolese monasteries are Incarnation Monastery in Berkeley, California, and Transfiguration Monastery, for women, located in Windsor, New York. The Camaldolese are also in Poland, France, India, Brazil, and Tanzania.