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The Sanctuary of Madonna della Carità - Seggiano
Photo ©I, Sailko
Places of worship

Sanctuary of Madonna della Carità

Seggiano hosts architectural gem from the late 1500s

Map for 42.926562,11.562539
Via Madonna della Carità, 7
This sanctuary represents one of the Amiata territory’s most evocative examples of late sixteenth century architecture. It is located just outside the town of Seggiano. The building was constructed at the end of the 1500s after a disastrous famine and it is considered a product of popular religious sentiment. At the same time, however, it is also connected to a widespread series of churches dedicated to the cult of the Virgin Mary. This belief system, linked to the counter-reformation moment, was championed by the Grand Duke Ferdinando I in Tuscany. The Church della Madonna della Carità was first mentioned in a document issued in 1593; said document contains information regarding the Council’s decisions to complete construction which had been started in 1588.

On October 3 of the same year, the Council decided to ask Maria Cristina of Lorraine for money to add to the community’s funds destined for completing the church. On various occasions the Council requested funding and issued statements regarding the community’s efforts to collectively support the church’s construction. In 1602, for example, the city declared the need to host a market-fair in the church yard in order to raise money for said purpose. Historical fonts published at the beginning of the XVII century state that the church was constructed ‘with much expense and it belongs to the community.’

This affirmation is in contrast with the belief that the Ugurgieri Counts—noble landowners from Siena—contributed the majority of the money needed to complete the church. This family possessed many estates in the Seggiano area, especially in Bandino di Fausto di Agnolo. They became the church’s main protectors as we can see by their heraldic emblems, their funeral inscriptions and their numerous family tombs located both inside and outside the holy structure. The Ugurgieri family supported the church’s leaders and staff, providing 43 scudi a year for upkeep, in addition to funding the church’s administration.

Source: Province of Grosseto
Seggiano is a small hillside village, between the final hills of the Monte Amiata and the splendid Val d’Orcia area. The region, known for its cultivation of olives (and boasting its own typical variety, olivastra seggianese), is surrounded by the trees’ silver hues, framing the first attraction most commonly noticed when approaching the village: the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Carità, one of ...