St. Onofrio Oratory Overlooking the town, in a dominant position, the parish church of Dicomano has almost completely maintained its original Romanesque structure.
The castrum et oppidum Decumani was left to the Florentine Bishop by the Guidi family, and on the façade of Santa Maria Parish Church, which rose on the site of the ancient castle, we can still admire the crest of the Capitolo Fiorentino. The church, which was damaged in the earthquake of 1542, was restored by 1568. The facade was moved to the back of the church to replace the original apse. The internal structure was reduced to three aisles with square pillars a filaretto.
The massive bell tower – probably part of the castle, as the narrow openings along the sides suggest - lacks the ancient small belfry "a ventola" which was probably also lost in the earthquake. Further restored in 1740, the church suffered serious damage in the earthquake of 1919.
Rebuilt under the direction of the architect E.Cerpi, the structure (completed in 1942) reacquired the original medieval structure including the openings, which had been closed but still existed, by removing the additions made mostly in the 18th century.
In 1975, in the course of a new restoration, a noteworthy 16th century cloister was brought to light, including fragments of portals and other parts of the original medieval castle, which are visible today.
The parish church holds traces of of frescos by Giotto (XIV century) and numerous works from the 16th century Florentine school - frescos which once ran along the walls.
On the right wall a polychrome terracotta base relief by Della Robbia representing the wedding of Saint Anne and Saint Gioacchino (XVI century) surrounded by a chorus of cherubs and the almighty father on a blue backdrop is still visible within a precious arched and fruit festooned frame.
On the altar on the right wall we find the Madonna of the Rosary by Santi di Tito (XVI century). The painting is held within a highly unique wooden frame made of tondos on which the Mysteries of the Rosary are painted.
In the back chapel, on the right we find a painting on a panel of the Nativity and the Adoration of the Magi by Cosimo Gamberucci.
The panel is held within a beautiful architectural frame, also arched, carved with lateral caryatids, friezes, and decorations on a black base heightened in gold. On the back wall, behind the high altar, within a beautiful gold carved frame we find the enormous painting of the Assumption by Francesco Curradi (1570-1661). Lower down on the same back wall we find a finely constructed polychrome terracotta Tabernacle by Della Robbia for the holy oil.
In the chapel to the left of the high altar, we can admire an arched panel, attributed to Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) or Giovan Battista Naldini (1537-1591), on which the Madonna del Carmine among six saints is painted.
On the side wall on the left, we also find a painting on a panel attributed to Ghirlandaio of the Madonna in trono col Bambino e Santi (Madonna with child and saints), from the church of Santo Stefano in Vacolagna.
THE ORATORY OF SAINT ONOFRIO
On the road that leads to Forlì, slightly isolated, just north of the town of Dicomano, we find the Oratory of Saint Onofrio. It is one of the most surprising examples of Italian neoclassicism. Erected in 1796 by the Delle Pozze family, on a design by Giuseppe De Rossi (1760-1831), this prestigious monument rises some hundred metres from the ancient chapel of the Madonna dell'Ospedale, which was demolished in 1785 when the work to widen the road to Forlì was carried out.
The front of the building presents a portico with four sandstone columns supporting an elegant pediment with reliefs on the sides of which are two statues of angels. The structure itself is square, higher than the portico and finished by a denticular horizontal cornice, and an elegant bell tower "a ventola" on the left side. Due to its precarious conditions, the statue of the Immacolata, which once stood between the two angels, can now be found inside the church, on the left wall of the high altar. Various symmetrical openings mark the sides, and two semi-circular windows, in Roman thermal style, stand on a horizontal cornice.
The inside, which presents a light, precious and harmonious series of ornate architectural elements, is made up of sixteen columns with Corinthian capitals that hold a semi-dome.
The altar, slightly raised, is set in an arched, open architectural structure, with accessible banisters and columns that support a semi-circular vault decorated with lacunars (mirrored).
On the high altar, made of Carrara marble, within a delightful round wood frame, carved and painted in gold, and covered with a drape on which we can admire the gold embroidered monogram of the Madonna, we find a painting on a panel of the Madonna dell'Ospedale, attributed by many to Andrea del Castagno, by others to the school of Giotto, today, unfortunately, darkened and painted over.
On the side walls, stand two altars with semi-columns and a horizontal entablature.
On the left altar we find a painting on canvas with the Immacolata Concezione tra Santi by Lorenzo Lippi. Modified in its original size with the addition of a band on the bottom and numerous re-paintings.
On the opposite altar we can still admire another canvas from the 17th - 18th century Florentine school.
In the rooms behind the high altar we find a huge canvas of the Crucifixion (XVI-XVIII century).
On the side walls above the altars, are set two fine bass-reliefs in white marble portraying dancing figures, puttos and wreaths.
The pavement is covered in highly elegant alternating white and grey square marble tiles.