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The Madonna di Piazza OratoryThe Madonna di Piazza Oratory

In the institutionally new one town Scarperia e San Piero, there are numerous little and amazing churches at just a stone’s throw from Florence.

Coming from the city, along via Bolognese, in the historical centre, we find St. Pietro Parish Church. The parish priest from 1482 to 1529 was Leonardo di Bernardo de’ Medici, Bishop of Forlì; his family’s coats of arms still hang above the main door.

It is thanks only to the Medici family’s patronage that the splendid baptismal font (1508) in glazed polychrome terracotta representing the life of St John the Baptist by Della Robbia ornates this church. On the main altar we can admire a wooden Crucifix by Raffaello di Montelupo.

In the presbytery, which includes a splendid 16thcentury hall, we can admire numerous priceless works of art.

Just before reaching Bilancino Lake, a narrow dirt road on the left leads us to one of the most ancient Tuscan convents: Bosco ai Frati Convent.

Coming back to Scarperia town centre, in front of the famous Vicari Palace, we find Madonna di Piazza Oratory where, by tradition, the vicars took office and received the title of Podestà del Vicariato (Podesta of the Vicariate). It is an elegant 15th century construction: the façade is enhanced by a portal and fine sandstone mullioned windows with two lights. Inside we can admire a cross-vault ceiling covered in frescoes attributed to Jacopo del Casentino, creator of the precious panel of the Madonna on the throne with Child and Angels that hangs in a fine late Gothic temple. The Madonna is inside an impressive marble cornice shaped like a tabernacle, complete with a base and lunette, by Mino da Fiesole.

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Open every day from 10am to 7pm. Info: tel. +39 055 8468165

On the same square stands the Rectory of St. Jacopo and St. Filippo, once part of an Augustinian convent. In fact, a part of the 15th century cloister is still visible. Inside the church we can find period frescos, a wooden Crucifix by Sansovino, a marble tondo by Benedetto da Maiano (15th century), and a tabernacle for the holy oil by Mino da Fiesole.

 Open every day (booking requested for opening). Info: tel. +39 055 8468165

We suggest a change of direction and a short stop at Sant’Agata Parish Church, situated on one of the most important Medieval routes: the “Via di Sant’Agata” which connected Florence to Bologna by way of the Passo dell’Osteria Bruciata (Burnt Inn Pass). The town rose around the church, the most important holy shrine in Mugello. It was built before the 11th century and has undergone numerous renovations while maintaining, for the most part, its original structure. The façade is quite unpretentious and intertwining bands are carved into the architrave above the portal. The structure, built in limestone with touches of sandstone and green serpentine, has a central nave and two side aisles which, in a rather original but functional architectural fashion, support the wooden beams that brace the double sloping roof. Inside we find a wooden panel by Jacopo di Cione portraying Our Lady of Grace to whom expectant women pray.

Open every day 9-12am and 3-5pm. Tel. 055 8406926

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On occasion, especially after earthquakes or other grave events, the panel is carried in procession. We can also find a panel of the Madonna on the throne with Child, San Jacopo and Sant’ Agata said to be by Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio, a panel of the Madonna and Child holding a ring out to St. Catherine of Alexandria on a predella by Bicci di Lorenzo, and a 16th century octagonal baptismal font of sandstone surrounded by a balustrade composed of seven marble slabs from the 12th century ambo.

 Info: tel. +39 055 8406853

On a nearby hill on the left, we find St. Maria a Fagna Parish Church. It is an 11th century structure with late Baroque features due to the radical renovations of 1770. The only remnants of the Romanesque period include a white marble and green serpentine polygonal pulpit composed of six engraved mirrors and a fine octagonal baptismal font covered in ceramic. These date back, respectively, to the mid and late 12th century. Ultimately, we can admire an interesting Assumption of the Virgin (1587), by Santi di Tito, and a wax Christ Departed (1805) by Clemente Susini.

Booking requested for opening. Info: tel. +39 055 8468165

Mugello in pills

Discover Mugello in your next holiday in Tuscany, suggestions for spending 1, 3 or 5 days in Mugello

 

       

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