Places of worship

The parish church of San Pantaleone a Elici

Architectural choices characterize reconstruction


This parish church, formerly dedicated to S. Ambrogio, is first mentioned in 892. The parish church of San Pantaleone a Elici - reconstructed in the XII century upon the remains of an Early Medieval building - lies on a ridge that gradually descends towards the sea shore, dividing the Freddana and Lucense valleys from the marshes of Massaciuccoli. Located in a dominant position above the plain of Massarosa, the parish church represents a significant example of pre-Romanesque architecture in the Lucca area.

In the XII century, the parish church of San Pantaleone was nearly completely rebuilt upon the Early Medieval construction; the latter is mentioned in various sources, though only scant remains of its walls can be seen today on the north side. The new church was built according to a Latin cross plan, divided into three aisles and it was designed with a semicircular apse. In 1470, a new high altar was built and a marble triptych was placed upon it.

Its most relevant transformations of a mainly structural nature were carried out in 1725, as we know from an inscription in the open gallery to the north of the church. The single and double lancet windows on the façade were replaced by large rectangular windows and an arched entrance was built in place of an earlier one on the north side. In addition, the interior was covered with a vaulted ceiling and the pillars and walls were entirely plastered. The church’s twentieth century restoration, that was begun in 1906 and resumed for a second time in 1956, aimed at recovering its original Medieval structure by reopening the single and double lancet windows on the façade.




Splendid nature between plains and hills
Massarosa is famous for its splendid natural environment in each of its 16 tiny hamlets that surround the center. Well-known since prehistoric times, Massarosa was inhabited during the Roman period and was so important that we still today find evidence of the ancient Roman Baths at Massaciuccoli. It became part of the Republic of Lucca in the 14th century. ...