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Walking in Tuscany
             
 
N L Castelfiorentino


album Surroundings
       
   


Castelfiorentino



   
   

Castelfiorentino is a country town plunged into Chianti green hills.
Our territory goes proud of its numerous significant masterpieces, such as the frescoes attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli, the Church of S. Verdiana, Oliveto Castle, but not of less value are the many aristocratic villas built in the area of Meleto, Granaiolo, Cambiano, Cabbiavoli and Montorsoli noted for their historical and architectural prominence.

Main sights

Collegia church of Sts. Lawrence and Leonard (13th-14th centuries). It houses a crucifix by Giovanni Pisano (14th century).

Romanesque-Gothic church of St. Francis (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 Santi Ippolito e Biagio, with a 14th-century crucifix and two 15th-century frescoes

Oratory of Santi Lorenzo e Barbara.

Sanctuary of Santa Verdiana (18th century)

Romanesque pieve of Santi Pietro e Paolo, at Coiano (11th century)

Palazzo Comunale
According to a popular legend, Membrino was the name of a boy, who, in XVI century, saved the town from the enemies' attack, warning the inhabitants.
Population, to express its gratitude, put a simbolic portrait on the bell of the clock town , in order to remember him. Nowadays the bell tower is called: "Membrino".

The Francigena trail is a medieval route that linked Canterbury to Rome.
Castelfiorentino was crossed by the Francigena Trail. The path ran along the current town of Gambassi Terme, Castelfiorentino, Certaldo, Poggibonsi and San Gimignano; from here pilgrims continued towards Siena and Rome.

Castelfiorentino has a new museum in a building designed specifically for the frescoes of one of the most important painters of the Renaissance. The Museo Benozzo Gozzoli was conceived and constructed for the purpose of giving a home to the frescoes which Benozzo painted for two chapels built near the city. The frescoes, which have been completely restored, are those of the Tabernacolo della Madonna della Tosse (Chapel of Our Lady of the Cough) and those of the Visitation.

 

   
   
Museum Benozzo Gozzoli in Castelfiorentino
Museum Benozzo Gozzoli in Castelfiorentino


 
   
     
During his career, Benozzo Gozzoli engaged several times in the decoration of tabernacle/oratory monuments situated on main roads used by travellers and pilgrims. The most significant of these in terms of size and commission were perhaps the two he did for Castelfiorentino. Two monumental shrines, of proportions similar to those of true chapels were frescoed by Benozzo Gozzoli at Castelfiorentino, on the initiative of a single client, Ser Grazia di Francesco, prior of Santa Maria at Castelnuovo Val d'Elsa: the Shrine of the Madonna della Tosse, and the Shrine of the Visitation. Among the assistants who were given the job of translating the master's ideas into painting was probably his son Francesco.

The Tabernacolo della Madonna della Tosse was frescoed in 1484. This chapel, situated on the road which leads to Castelnuovo d’Elsa, became important to folk devotion. The townsfolk would take their children to this chapel to preserve them from the ‘bad cough’, which was wide-spread and from which children sometimes died. Detached and restored in 1970, they have been remounted in the Biblioteca Comunale.

The Tabernacolo della Madonna delle Grazie (Chapel of Our Lady of Grace), or of the Visitation, was built in 1491. The Shrine of the Visitation was located on Via Volterrana in Castelfiorentino, on a piece of land belonging to the Minorite nunnery of Santa Maria.
Besides the hand of Benozzo, that of his sons, and helpers, Alesso and Frencesco, can also be detected. The scenes from the life of the Virgin in the fresco were taken from the apocryphal Gospels.

In the 1860s, the frescoes were detached from their original location, where they had been exposed to the inclemency of weather and to the floods of the Elsa River.

Museum Benozzo Gozzoli
Via Testaferrata, Castelfiorentino
www.museobenozzogozzoli.it
Opening Hours:


 


Zelfportret (Opus Benotii) in de
Cappella dei Magi in
Palazzo Medici-Ricardi

 

 



Farneta, Folano and Lucignano


Farneta Abbey




Lucignano

 

Empoli

 


Abbazia di Farneta

 

 

 

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Empoli