We just happened to visit as a tour was about to start, so decided to go for the tour. Our tour was in Italian, but we were given a handout in English and our guide answered all of our questions. By taking the guided tour, we were able to see many areas closed off to the casual tourist. There are stairs involved, but also a lift(elevator) for going on the various floors, but not all available in each area visited. The Monastero dei Benedetti is well worth a visit, but do your best to take the guided tour, otherwise you will be very limited on what you can see, and may go away disappointed.
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