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Parish Church of Sant'Appiano

Places of worship

An impressive monumental complex with a rich Antiquarium

The monumental complex of Sant'Appiano is located in the municipality of Barberino Tavarnelle, on a picturesque knoll surrounded by tall cypress trees and consists of the Romanesque parish church, the ruins of a mysterious octagonal building, the cloister, the rectory and a slightly detached group of houses, constituting the village. The beauty of the landscape is matched by the sacredness of the place: here, in fact, are preserved the remains of the Saint who gave his name to the locality and who is believed to be the evangelizer of Valdelsa.

The charming parish church, already mentioned in a 990 document although older, preserves remains of protoromantic structure, such as the stone part of the left aisle, the apse and the crypt. Finds of an 8th century B.C. complex and two Etruscan chamber tombs have been unearthed near the parish church at Podere Piazza.

Inside the church you can admire some splendid wall paintings by Filippo di Antonio Filippelli including the 1484 Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, which Bernardo Rosselli also worked on. Not to be missed is the oldest chivalric tomb in Tuscany, namely the tomb slab of Gherarduccio Gherardini who died in 1331, ancestor of the Monnalisa.

On the outside, the four supporting pillars of the Baptistery, which was located in front of the church facade and had an octagonal shape, remain. Very distinctive are the decorations on the capitals depicting the tau, cosmic signs and the cross.

On the adjacent premises is the Antiquarium, which collects some of the archaeological material found in the surrounding area. It is a small museum that preserves alabaster funerary urns from the Hellenistic period, red-figure Attic ceramics and a range of late medieval and Renaissance ceramics typical of the Florentine area, as well as some Etruscan memorial stones and a pagan idol.

More attractions in Barberino Tavarnelle