Marradi, before it came under the domain of the Florentine Republic in 1258, belonged to Badia del Borgo (St. Reparata in Salto), a town that can be reached by taking the provincial road from Marradi to St. Benedetto in Alpe.
It is an important monastic community that dates back to the 11th century and which once belonged to the Benedictine and then the Vallombrosian monks. It was renovated in Baroque style in the years from 1741 to 1765, but the unadorned, solid square bell tower maintains a typically Romanesque aspect. The church’s simple stone façade under the sloping roof is a prelude to the luminous Baroque interior with its central nave and large transept.
Moving to Palazzuolo sul Senio, we find the Archpriestly Church of St. Lorenzo. The pre-existing medieval structure was reconstructed majestically in the 18th century in neoclassic style. Inside it holds paintings by the Master of Marradi who worked in Badia del Borgo at the end of the 15th century: his style much resembles that of Ghirlandaio.
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Moving along towards San Benedetto, a brief excursion along a path that runs through the beech and chestnut woods leads us to the solitary Gamogna Hermitage. It was founded by St Pier Damiani around 1053 and is now undergoing renovations.