An itinerary to discover the hidden works of art in the area
Ponterosso If you leave the cemetery along Via Vittorio Veneto, passing the eighteenth century chapel on your right, you’ll come to the Santa Maria al Ponterosso Sanctuary. The church is late renaissance style with a portico similar to those of other sanctuaries n the Valdarno region. The church was built with financial support from the Medici family around 1570.
One of the most important works of art in the church is the fresco on the upper altar which depicts Mary and Child. It has subject to worship since at least 1499 and was recently uncovered after having been painted over for many years. There is a tabernacle of the Holy Sacrament on the altar (dating from the eighteenth century).
Brollo and Poggio alla Croce The area of Brollo and Poggio alla Croce was once home to ancient Etruscan civilisation. There is an eighteenth century church on the right dedicated to Saint Peter al Terreno which was first documented in 1276. Near the right hand side altar is the Holy Trinity by Agostino Melissi, a painter who belonged to the seventeenth century Florentine school. On the wall on the right of the church is a fourteenth century false triptych showing Mary and the saints. This small church is well worth visiting for this and the other noteworthy works of art it contains.
Ponte agli Stolli Towards Ponte agli Stolli there is the Convent of Serviti alla Poggerina where it’s possible to admire a terracotta crucifix by Giovanni della Robbia.
Villa di San Cerbone The Ospedale Serristori is in Villa di San Cerbone. The Franzesi della Foresta built a castle here in the fourteenth century. The villa, which was given as a dowry for Giovanni Serristori’s daughter Costanza in the sixteenth century, changed hands many times before being bought back by the Serristori family in 1890 by Umberto Serristori. It then was transformed back into an Ospedale. The façade and impressive entrance help us to imagine the illustrious people who have visited the villa over the centuries. There is a chapel to the right which holds many interesting and sacred works of art. The fifteenth century courtyard is characterised by its pretty stone columns with shell and leaf shaped motifs. It’s possible to visit the old ‘pharmacy’ which holds a rich collection of majolica and glass vases from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Several interesting paintings are also to be found here.
Scampata Scampata can be reached by leaving Figline and going towards Gaville. In Scampata there is the abandoned church of Saint Bartholomew in the hills to the right of the town. Today, a more modern church contains a Mary and Child by Ugolino di Nerio (1320 circa) which used to be housed in the old church.
Gaville Just after the town of Gaville is a small Romanesque parish church. The church, dedicated to Saint Romolo, the patron saint of Fiesole, was founded in the twelfth century. The outside of the church is rather plain and the inside is typical to the Valdarno-Casentino style. A recently restored painting attributed to Bicci di Lorenzo (showing Saint Christopher) has recently been moved to another location. There is also a picturesque courtyard through which visitors can also see the crypt. An interesting museum dedicated to the life of local farmers over the centuries is next to the church.
Sant’Andrea a Ripalta This delightful ancient church is not far from the small town of Restone. Visitors should note the 1436 triptych by Andrea di Giusto and the intact late-gothic carpentry inside the church.