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Parish Church of Gropina - Loro Ciuffenna
Photo © Photo © Studiowiki | Ph Davide Busetto | Archivio fotografico Ambito turistico Valdarno
Photo © Photo © Studiowiki | Ph Davide Busetto | Archivio fotografico Ambito turistico Valdarno

Sacred art and Christmas traditions in Valdarno

A journey that combines important art works with the magic of the festivities

by  Valdarno

The Valdarno Aretino, a treasure chest of extraordinary artistic and spiritual treasures, reveals its history through a fascinating itinerary of sacred art. In each municipality, churches, parish churches and museums welcome visitors on a journey through the territory's rich artistic and spiritual heritage. Following the sacred art itinerary in Valdarno during the festive season makes this experience even more special and interesting, putting the spotlight on the works of art that are kept here.

  • 1.
    Sacred Art in Valdarno
  • 2.
    When sacred art mixes with Christmas

Sacred Art in Valdarno

Little Temple by Della Robbia - Collegiate Church San Lorenzo Montevarchi
Little Temple by Della Robbia - Collegiate Church San Lorenzo Montevarchi

In Montevarchi, the Museum of Sacred Art is the heart of the town, near the prestigious Collegiate Church of San Lorenzo, a jewel of Tuscan Baroque. The museum houses sacred art objects, illuminated manuscripts and Andrea Della Robbia's masterpiece: the 15th-century Tempietto Robbiano (Della Robbia Little Temple). The Relic of the Holy Milk of Our Lady, linked to the story of the Battle of Benevento in 1266, enriches the city's artistic heritage.

The itinerary through the sacred art of Valdarno continues in San Giovanni Valdarno with the Museum of the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie, guardian of the Annunciation by Beato Angelico. It extends to Cavriglia, at the Parish Church of San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist), with its Museum of Sacred Art, offering a glimpse of the local faith through paintings and terracotta statues. 

In addition to the museums, churches and parish churches, such as the Parish Church of San Pietro in Gropina, the Parish Church of Santa Maria a Scò and the church of San Giovanni Battista in Galatrona complete the itinerary, enriching the experience of those who venture to discover the beauty of sacred art in Valdarno.

When sacred art mixes with Christmas

During the month of December, Valdarno wraps itself in an enchanting Christmas cloak, transforming itself into a fairy-tale place. Every municipality dresses up with Christmas trees, glittering illuminations and evocative nativity scenes.

 During this period, it is possible to admire cribs of all kinds and genres inside churches or in dedicated exhibitions. In Laterina, an exhibition-contest of nativity scenes is held every year, invading the medieval village with dozens of creative works. In San Giovanni Valdarno, the exhibition "Christmas in the World" creates a bridge between cultures through cribs from different parts of the globe. In Montevarchi, the Capuchin church hosts a fascinating mechanical nativity scene. While at Borro, the nativity scene can be visited all year round, but becomes even more impressive during the Christmas holidays.

Immersing oneself in Valdarno's Christmas traditions therefore means living a complete experience, combining sacred art with the magic of the festivities.

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