Castelfiorentino is an Italian town near Florence Tuscany, it is part of the valley of Elsa river. Halfway between Florence 30 Kilometres (20 miles), and Pisa, Siena and Leghorn 40 Kilometres (25 miles). Main sights: BeGo Benozzo Gozzoli Museum with fifteenth-century frescoes from the monumental tabernacles on the Via Francigena, Sanctuary of Saint Verdiana, Patron Saint, (18th century) - Collegial church of Saints Lorenzo and Leonardo (13th/14th centuries), it houses a crucifix by Giovanni Pisano (14th century), Romanesque-Gothic church of Saint Francesco (13th century), with a “Madonna with Child” by Taddeo Gaddi, and other works by Cenni di Francesco, Giovanni del Biondo and other 15th century Florentine schools paintings - Pieve (pleban church), of Saints Ippolito e Biagio, with a 14th century crucifix and two 15th century frescoes; Oratory of Saints Lorenzo e Barbara.
Historical artistic sites
Castello di Oliveto Show position
LOCATION: in an isolated but dominant position, on the right of the road which goes from Castelfiorentino, to Ortimino and Certaldo.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: a tract of land called Oliveto was acquired by a Florentine nobleman Puccio Pucci, who, in 1424 built a large castle with fortified towers and battlements, used as a summer residence.
For many years the castle became the meeting place for famous people and was periodically maintained. Thanks to this today is still in excellent condition.
DESCRIPTION: the imposing aspect of the castle is accentuated by its fortified towers with Guelph crenellations which are typical of military architecture of the fourteen hundreds, but in this case the building was, and still is, used exclusively as a dwelling. Internally there are many furnished salons with refinements which make it immutable and timeless.
SS. Pietro e Paolo a Coiano Show position
LOCATION: in a prominent position on the right of the road which links Castelfiorentino to Ponte a Egola, passing through Casastrada.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: the first mention of this church is in 990 and it is recorded in the diary of Sigeric, Archbishop of Canterbury, when he passed along the “hilltop” Francigena.
In the 11th century this church was suffered many changes and later became the property of the Machiavelli family of Florence. In the 19th, reduced to ruins, it was restored.
DESCRIPTION: the church, located at the top of a stairway, has a basilica structure with three naves, two side isles with six columns and one apse.
Above the large doors on the facade, with an arched architrave, there are blind arches and a beautiful lancet window, in the Pisan style. On the right there is an imposing bell tower.
SS. Lorenzo e Barbara
a Castelnuovo d'Elsa Show position
LOCATION: in an elevated position in the residential area of Castelnuovo d’Elsa, once a medieval castle, which can be reached by proceeding along a deviation of the road that goes from Castelfiorentino to San Miniato passing through Dogana.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: the church dates back to the thirteen hundreds when Castelnuovo d’Elsa was in a period of economic and social development. In the following century the hospital was built next to to the church whose interior was embellished with paintings. From that date on, no further works of art or specific maintenance was carried out.
DESCRIPTION: building made of bricks with a large door and architrave on the facade, over which there is a pointed arch and rose window. Internally there is a single nave in which the works, attributed to the Florentine school, can be seen.
Sant'Ippolito a Meleto Show position
LOCATION: partially hidden by tall trees, very close to local link road which passes near the Villa di Meleto.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: the chapel was realized in memory of a person or an event which took piace in the second half of the seven hundreds, a time when the Ridolfi noble family were the owners of the Villa di Meleto (where in 1834 Cosimo Ridolfi created the first agricultural school in Italy), and managed the adjacent farming estate.
The reasons why it was abandoned are unknown, and as a result it is in a state of decay.
DESCRIPTION: the building has an octagonal plan and refers to the eighth day of the Passion of Jesus and his Resurrection.
With time the roof has unfortunately collapsed. The structure includes a series of columns which support an architrave. A the top there is a tambour with a circular window on each side.
Il Castellare Show position
LOCATION: in an isolated and dominant position which can be reached on foot by proceeding along a deviation on the right of the road which goes from Castelfiorentino to Ponte a Egola and San Miniato passing through Casastrada.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: located on what was once the “hilltop” Via Francigena, Il Castellare, built as a fort or lookout tower. It probably dates back to 10th century. Its deterioration and modification as a building for agricultural use coincides with the disuse of the Via Francigena as a main road.
DESCRIPTION: after a recent restoration and transformation into a dwelling, Il Castellare looks like a large country villa. Almost all traces of the past have desappered except the squared of Medieval origin, which have not been covered with plaster.
San Piero a Pisangoli Show position
LOCATION: on the periphery of the municipal area, at the beginning of the road which goes from Castelfiorentino to Ortimino and Montespertoli, passing through San Piero Vecchio.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: the place known as Pisango or Pisangoli, was known at the end of the 10th century as well as the renowned castle of Pisangoli, which was annexed the church known as San Piero Vecchio. This church had a long life but, reduced to a state of ruin, was finally demolished at the end of the 17th century. In the last years it has been rebuilt where it can be seen today.
DESCRIPTION: the building appears modern with the plastered external walls. The entrance set in the facade has a rose window above. Worthy of note are two containers in terracotta placed at the top of two supports close to the roof, which also includes a bell gable. On the back side there are two decorative terracotta works.
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