Photo ©Sailko
Places of worship

Parish Church of San Pantaleone a Elici

A centuries-old church, a gem of Romanesque architecture, dominates the hills of Massarosa


The Parish Church of San Pantaleone a Elici is a centuries-old church that dominates the hills of Massarosa and is found right in the town that gives the church its name: Pieve a Elici. The building’s origins date to San Frediano’s evangelization efforts throughout the territory and was mentioned for the first time in a document from 892.

The church of San Pantaleone owes its toponym “elici” to the Latin ilex, or holly oak, a plant that grows extensively around the church, and was built on a ridge that offers a splendid panoramic view of the whole plain of Massarosa, all the way to Lake Massaciuccoli and the coast of the Versilia.

The current structure, with a Latin-cross plan with 3 aisles and a semi-circular apse, dates to around the 12th century, when the parish church was rebuilt, conserving the only extant wall from the original building.

The splendid marble triptych adorning the high altar, depicting the Madonna, Saint Pantaleon and Saint John the Baptist, dates to 1470. Considered a jewel of Romanesque architecture, the church is especially striking for its austere nature and for the grace of its crenelated bell tower.

Massarosa, part of the Versilia area that stretches from Viareggio to Monte Quiesa, is known for its striking and mysterious natural world, not to mention the unmatched beauty of its sixteen hamlets, scattered around lush plains and rolling hills. ...