Parish church of Sant’Appiano

Loc. Sant, Str. di S. Appiano, 3, 50028 Barberino Tavarnelle FI, Italia

Simona Bertolaso



Luoghi religiosi
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This beautiful country church in the village of S.Appiano is definitely worth a visit. It is dedicated to the saint to whom the evangelization of Valdelsa is traditionally attributed.
It is the only building in the Florentine countryside that preserves the remains of a baptistery independent of the church, a solution that in the area south of the Arno was found only in the churches of Sant ‘Alessandro a Giogoli, San Piero in Bossolo, in the Pieve di Coeli Aula and the parish of Empoli. Today, only four pillars of the baptistery remain, in memory of the central plan of the building, demolished in 1805 after an earthquake.
The parish church preserves traces of two construction phases: the arches dividing the nave on the left belong to the 10th-11th centuries, as does the apse decorated with arches and the elevation of the nave punctuated by Lombard arches; the arches on the right were rebuilt in terracotta after the bell tower collapsed in 1171: the shapes are slimmer, the capitals are sculpted with stylized leaves and the human faces rendered realistically.The parish church has a salient façade in which it is possible to recognize the different Romanesque phases: the most primitive part, the proto-Romanesque one, is the wall face made of river pebbles mixed with sandstone; another phase, dating back to the Romanesque period, is the one made of bricks in terracotta randomly placed but well profiled and knurled; to a third phase, much more recent, are to be ascribed the portal with tympanum and the two portholes placed in correspondence of the naves. In the rooms annexed to the church has been obtained a small Antiquarium, which serves as an archaeological museum. The most interesting piece is undoubtedly a pagan Idoletto (Eros riding a dog), in stone, datable to the IInd century AD.

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