MONSUMMANO TERME AND ITS ENVIRONS
Churches and religious buildings
Churches and religious buildings
There are many churches and religious buildings to visit. Interesting from an artistic and historical point of view, they dot the historical center of Monsummano Terme and its environs – important evidence of the local spiritual life.
Sanctuary of S. Maria della Fonte Nuova
By the architect Gherardo Mechini, the Tuscan grand dukes built the basilica following various miraculous events. The most important of these events was when, after a long period of drought, a water source sprang forth in 1602.
A loggia with rounded arches preceded the sanctuary’s construction. The latter contains fourteen lunettes by Giovanni da S. Giovanni depicting the miraculous events linked to the sanctuary and to the miraculous image venerated here.
With a single nave and a coffered ceiling, the interior has some very interesting works. These include the organ donated by Grand Duchess Cristina of Lorraine, paintings with St. Francis, St. Jerome, St. Charles Borromeo, and St. Sebastian from the 17th century, and a marble high altar containing the miraculous fresco, the work of the 15th-century Florentine school.
Oratory of S. Carlo
This small building to the right of the sanctuary is preceded by a portico with three arches on Tuscan-order columns. The design of this elegant building is owed to Marcacci.
Church of S. Nicolao in Monsummano Alto
Attributable to the first half of the 12th century, this simple Romanesque building has a single hall and a semicircular apse. There are three altars inside. There is a 14th-century wooden crucifix on the main sandstone altar. The two masonry side altars display “The Mysteries of the Rosary” and the “Annunciation”, both paintings from the 1600s.
Oratory of the Madonna della Neve in Montevettolini
Preceded by a portico with lowered arches, this small, simple building with a rectangular hall was built on the site of a smaller oratory erected in the 17th century to preserve a frescoed border.
The fresco that formed the heart of the building is found at the altar with “St. John the Baptist, St. Michael, the Madonna with Child, St. Peter, and St. Stephen”, by a local painter in the 15th century.
Church of S. Michele in Montevettolini
Overlooking the central Piazza Bargellini, the church is first mentioned in a document from 1260. It underwent a radical overhaul in the 18th century that included raising the central nave plus a new altar and internal stucco decorations.
The façade overlooking the square has the right side of the building resting on a portico with octagonal pillars. Flanking the loggia is the bell tower, the only tower remaining from the ancient castle. Inside are various works from the 1700s and a large wooden crucifix from the 14th century.
Church of S. Leopoldo in Cintolese
Dedicated to St. Leopold, the church was consecrated in 1788 in honor of the then reigning grand duke. It underwent a radical restoration in 1950. Of particular interest internally are the polychrome-marble main altar and the white-marble baptismal font, works of exquisite workmanship datable between the 17th and 18th centuries.
New church in Cintolese
In Cintolese, a new church dedicated to St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe was inaugurated behind the current parish church of San Leopoldo. It was designed by architect Fabrizio Rossi Prodi. The saint’s relics from Poland will soon be hosted there. The unusual elliptical structure is furnished with works by Giuliano Vangi, the artist from Barberino di Mugello. The altar particularly stands out. Set on a bronze base, it is in the shape of a tree and contains the relics of St. Allucio, co-patron of the diocese of Pescia, St. Gemma Galgani, and St. Maria Goretti. The bas-relief of St. Maximilian (nearing completion) and the wooden Christ are also beautifully crafted.