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Badia di Santa Maria a Vigesimo
Places of worship

Badia di Santa Maria a Vigesimo

Taking its name from the twentieth milestone of an old Roman road going north from Florence via Fiesole, Calenzano or Passo delle Croci at Combiate

Map for 44.001045,11.238543
Barberino di Mugello
Once past the main square after the Town Hall, crossing the Stura torrent bridge on the left, then passing some recent residential constructions take the road for Badia di Santa Maria a Vigesimo, which takes its name from the twentieth milestone of an old Roman road going north from Florence via Fiesole, Calenzano or Passo delle Croci at Combiate (or maybe both itineraries). The church stands in a field marked by cypresses in a raised position. Despite the facade, with an ample arcade decorated with the statues of Justice and Charity (made by Francesco Arrighi), the headpiece is richly decorated with pilasters and spirals, the interior is in baroque style due to 17th and 18th century modifications. The church was founded by the Vallombrosian founding father S. Giovanni Gualberto, dating back to 1074. The ribbed vault belltower constructed with bricks contains three bells, two of which are dated respectively 1494 and 1522.

A finely carved main door opens into the church, constructed with one nave covered by a wooden trussed roof. In the middle of the apse is an “Assumption of the Virgin Mary” surrounded by angels and saints, for years attributed to Domenico Ghirlandaio, but rather the work of an anonymous 1400’s Florentine painter, the side walls frescoed by Giusto Rossi represent the Holy Family and the Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus and S. Giovannino. Four chapels can be found on the side walls, in the first two to the left a Madonna and Child with S. Giovanni Gualberto, to the right a Nativity. The second altar on the left has a lovely painting of Santissima Annunziata inspired by the same Florentine Sanctuary, the opposite altar has a wooden statue of the Lady of Sorrows by Federigo Tarlatini.

Above the finely carved chestnut confessionals (1741), depicting various episodes of the Virgin Mary’s life, six oval paintings depicting other Vallombrosian saints by Vincenzo Pacini (1747) can be found, three on each side.The remarkable organ, is richly carved and moulded, the choir stall rail projecting in the centre is decorated in rococo style (1744). Under the main altar can be found the venerated body of the martyr S. Vincenzo, who was transfered here from the San Ciriaco dungeons in 1676. The trap doors on the floor mark the mass graves underneath, two of which were reserved for the monks and abbots only (as can be seen by the engraving).

The presbytery and the nearby convent date back to the first half of the 12th century, the whole complex still preserves the imposing aspect of a Vallombrosian Monastery. The facade has two identical windows with two different dates: 1749 and 1640. The interior has a now walled-in cloister with a canopied well in the centre.
Barberino di Mugello
Located to the left of the Stura stream, the oldest part of Barberino di Mugello developed in the Middle Ages at the foot of the hills and is dominated over by the ancient castle that once belonged to the Cattani family from Combiate. ...