Borgo San Lorenzo
In the centre of Borgo San Lorenzo we find S. Lorenzo Parish Church, built in 941. It is the biggest Romanesque construction in Mugello. It was rebuilt in 1263 and this seems to be the date of construction of the bell tower, set on the semicircular apse and built in brick in the shape of a semi dodecagon. The magnificence of the works of art held within the church is testimony of its past importance. Among these we find: Madonna, attributed to Giotto, a panel of the Crucifix from the school of Giotto , Madonna on the Throne with Child by Agnolo Gaddi, The Virgin and the Saints Francis and Domenic by Matteo Rosselli. The apse holds the frescos of Galileo Chini. On the right side of the façade, we find a tabernacle in polychrome terracotta by the Chini Furnace.
Open every day (from Monday to Friday: from 7.30am to 12am and from 4pm to 7pm; on Saturday and Sunday from 7.30am to 12am and from 4pm to 5.30pm). Tel. +39 055 8459295
Upon entering Borgo San Lorenzo we reach the SS.Crocifisso dei Miracoli Oratory. It was built in the 18th century to hold a wooden Crucifix, possibly by Giovanni Pisano (14th century). The crucifix was left here in the 15th century by some German pilgrims who were fleeing from the plague. In fact, just above the high altar, we find a deep niche in which the cross is kept. The niche is hidden by a heavy 19th century curtain which, run by a mechanical device, moves up and down unveiling the cross for the devout on important occasions. Numerous miracles have been attributed to the Crucifix: the end of the plague in 1400, minor damage to Borgo San Lorenzo in the violent earthquake of 1542, the liberation of the territory from the French in 1799.
Open every day (From 7.30am to 12.00am and from 4pm to 7.00pm). Info: tel.+39 055 8459088
Just left of the Oratory, we find the immense San Francesco Church. It holds an extensive nave in Gothic style, the remains of 14th century frescos, and a chapel, all made from bits of pebbles from the river.
Leaving the centre of Borgo San Lorenzo, finding numerous little villages in an amazing countryside, we can admire ancient churches and parishes.
Near Borgo, on the road to Scarperia and Luco di Mugello, stands the Cappuccini di San Carlo Convent, which dates back to 1613. At the entrance we can admire a Pietà in terra-cotta produced in the Chini Furnace of Borgo San Lorenzo, while in the refectory there is an Annunciation in terra-cotta by Galileo Chini. In the cloister we can also admire a 33 metre well which was drilled in 1617.
Open every day (from 6.30am to 8.00pm). Info: tel. +39 055 8459385
Once back in Borgo, we move north along Via Faentina through the small-cultivated hills. At a distance of about three kilometres, a cypress tree lined road moves left towards San Giovanni Maggiore Parish Church, a 10th century structure which was reconstructed between 1520 and 1530, and later modified in the 19th century. The 11th century bell tower is interesting for its peculiar structure: although it is octagonal, it rests on a square base. Three sets of windows with one opening, of increasing size, run along the sides. Inside the church we find a wooden crucifix from the 16th century and a striking 12th century marble ambo. The glass panes are by Chini Manufacturing.
Open from 10.00am to 5.30pm on saturday. Info: tel.+39 055 8403378
Once past the locality of Panicaglia, we reach a curve in the road that offers a breathtaking view of the Pulicciano hills and the Valle dell’Ensa with the ancient church of Ronta and its high tower. Upon leaving Ronta, we soon reach Madonna dei Tre Fiumi Sanctuary. It was built in 1578 and enlarged by Bruni in 1705. The portico, with three archways, was cut in about 1789 to permit the construction of the new via Faentina. Attached to the church was a hospice, today a hotel, which was associated with the one in Quadalto in Palazzuolo Sul Senio. According to the legend, some women were praying in front of the tabernacle, where today we find the Sanctuary, when the face of the Blessed Virgin materialized and began to cry. Many pilgrims visited the site to beg for “grace” and numerous miracles are said to have taken place there.
It was for this reason that the Sanctuary was built.
Open every day (from 7.30am to 7.30pm). Info: tel . +39 055 8403015 c/o Tre Fiumi Hotel or tel.+39 055 8403014
The uphill climb to the Sanctuary rises rather sharply and the road runs through lofty stratifications and steep woodland slopes along the banks of the tortuous Enza river. We thus reach Razzuolo and the church, which was once a part of the Vallombrosian Abbey of San Paolo, founded in 1035 by St. Giovanni Gualberto.
On the south of the same road, on Via Faentina, but to Florence direction, through pastures, pinewoods and forests, passing some of the most characteristic farmhouses to Polcanto and Faltona and the 11th century Romanesque Parish Church, renovated many times, and the 12th century bell-tower.