Places of worship

San Lorenzo Cathedral

Rebuilt in 13th century, it turned from gothic to neo-medieval style

Piazza Dante
The main church of Grosseto is San Lorenzo Cathedral. It replaces the previous church Pieve di Santa Maria and now stands at its place. The construction underwent rebuilding in Renaissance and baroque style and was finally renovated again in neo-mediaeval style between 1840 and 1865.
 
The façade was reworked in the nineteenth century in Romantic style for the bi-coloured features of white and red and for the form imitating Gothic style.Facing west, the lower part of the religious building has three portals and is completed with a walkthrough loggia of small arches featuring a string-course cornice. The high central part, crowned by a gable, contains a large rose window. The Gothical sculptures of the first constructive phase are conserved, among which most of the sculptures of the rose window and the symbols of the four evangelists positioned on the string-course cornice.
 
The façade was probably completed between 1338 and 1340 at the same time as the portal on the south side. The sixteenth-century restoration work included the insertion of two small lanterns at the top of the sides and two small obelisks at the ends of the gable. The right flank of the shows an interesting feature of two mullioned windows with two lights and a portal designed by the Florentine Giuseppe Castellucci or the Sienese Giuseppe Partini that is richly decorated with carved cornices and panels, containing a relief with Christ among the Evangelists.
 
The right side facing south that gives onto Piazza Dante was probably part of the project by Sozzo di Rustichini who designed the two Gothic windows with two lights. The sculptural decorations of the lateral portal and the windows, and the statue of San Lorenzo between them were carried out by Agostino di Giovanni and son between 1320 and 1340. The upper part of the portal with bas-relief of the Virgin in the tympanum and the two statues at the sides was carried out by the sculptor Leopoldo Maccari in 1897.
On the right corner of the façade there is a Roman column, surmounted by a composite Corinthian capital, used in mediaeval times for the posting of public notices.
 
The bell tower was built on the left side facing north in 1402, while the interior stairway was finished in 1611. It was reworked in 1911, transforming the arched windows in two-light and three-light windows.
Grosseto Cathedral - Credit: Guillem Borrell
The plan of the building in the form of a Latin cross is probably due to the renovation carried out by the Sienese architect Anton Maria Lari, subsequently updated stylistically after the baroque modifications, between 1858 and 1865. The current aspect of the central aisle is the result of the sixteenth and nineteenth-century re-workings.
 
Between 1592 and 1662 the vaulted ceiling replaced the preceding wooden trussed roof. The nineteenth-century restoration work directed by the architect Fabio Nuti included the realisation of a low dome at the intersection of the transept, decorated with neo-Classical paintings and contrasting stone facing of the pilasters and arches. The baroque altars collocated along the walls of the lateral aisles were removed.

The apse at the end had been renovated in the sixteenth century in a polygonal shape, thus allowing space for a choir and two chapels in a radial arrangement, and after the restoration had remained incomplete. In the XVII century it was restructured in its current semi-circular form, providing access to the new sacristy. In the apse there is a painting of Rustici representing the saints Carlo Borromeo and Lorenzo in the act of adoring the name of Jesus.
 
In 1649 the great altar was realised in coloured marble, designed by Tommaso Redi and completed with ciborium in 1692 by Giovanni Antonio and Francesco Mazzuoli. On the front there is an antependium in silver and gilded copper, carried out in 1782 by the Sienese Giacomo Bonechi for the altar of the 'Madonna delle Grazie'.
 
In the Chapel of the "Madonna delle Grazie" on the left side of the transept, there is a painting depicting 'La Vergine Assunta con angeli' ('Our Lady of the Assumption') realised around 1470 by the painter Matteo di Giovanni, probably the central part of a larger painting. On the right side of the transept there is the Chapel of the Crucifix, built in the mid-nineteenth century. It contains a wooden cross of the second half of the XV century, perhaps work of the 'Vecchietta'. The altar was built in imitation of the one in the other chapel in 1857 by the sculptor Domenico Iardella from Lucca.
 
On the other façade above the central portal there is a tympanum sculpted with the figure of Christ in a ‘mandorla’ held up by angels, and two column-bearing lions attributed to Giovanni d'Agostino. The stained-glass windows were made by Girolamo di Benvenuto in about 1470. In the central aisle there is a richly decorated holy-water font composed of a shaft bearing an inscription with the date 1506 and name of the donator Gerolamo Vantaggioli, and an ornate basin perhaps made by Antonio Federighi. The baptismal font collocated in the left aisle is by Antonio Ghini, responsible also for the altar of the Chapel Madonna delle Grazie, 1470-1474. In the ante-sacristy there is a marble ciborium from 1500 that originally came from Castiglione della Pescaia. 

Cover image credit: Sailko

people
What's the buzz about?
Grosseto
Strolling through the Maremma's main city
Grosseto is a beautiful city nearly on the edge of the Tuscan region. It is known as the political and cultural center of the Maremma – Tuscany’s wilder, coastal territory, often overlooked by tourists. It’s an ideal base for exploring the surrounding hilltops and sea sections, and has a family-friendly tranquility, as well as unexpected surprises. ...
Morekeyboard_backspace