Benozzo Gozzoli Museum

Imagine being in Castelfiorentino in the late 15th century. Here Benozzo Gozzoli put his heart and soul into the frescoes of the Tabernacle of the Madonna of the Cough (1484) and the Visitation (1491), narrating a simple, sincere story that everyone could understand. The BeGo conserves these works today.

Castelfiorentino, BeGo Benozzo Gozzoli Museum

The museum

Imagine to be in Castefiorentino towards the end of the XV century. The small borough, situated along the Via Francigena, is a busy commercial crossroad between Florence and Siena. The inhabitants live a simple life based on agriculture and Education is still reserved only for a lucky few.

When Benozzo Gozzoli arrives around 1484 from Florence, he finds a laid-back atmosphere of tranquillity, instead of the usual city hustle and bustle he is used to. While staying there, Benozzo transfers the humbleness he sees around him directly onto the frescoes of the Tabernacolo della Madonna della Tosse and the Tabernacolo della Visitazione, narrating a sincere account, accessible to everyone. And it is exactly from this accessibility that the BeGo Museum, today home of both tabernacles, has kept unaltered that dialogue born between Benozzo and the community at that time. The museum has an inclusive itinerary of tactile exploration and multimedia support for the deaf. It organized guided tours, tactile tours, workshops, specific visits for people suffering from Alzheimer and their caregivers, for people with intellectual disabilities and people suffering from autism.

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Works by great masters, multimedia reconstructions with voices and stories from the territory and the communities it hosts, archaeological finds and historical arts and crafts: every museum in the area offers great little stories to discover.


The Tabernacle of the Visitation (1490)

Benozzo Gozzoli

Who knows what pilgrims would had felt while walking along the stretch of the Via Francigena near Castelfiorentino, at the end of the XV century, while suddenly finding themselves in front of the imposing Tabernacolo della Visitazione? Those colours, so vibrant and brilliant, highlighted against the blue sky background and framed by lush hilly countryside, would have shone in the astonished eyes of the travellers, kidnapped by the shades of kindness and honesty represented.

The engagement they must have had with the frescoes was without doubt amplified by its incredible dimension, more than 6 meters high, making this opera more like a piece of architecture, greeting the spectator in an embrace of emotions.


The Tabernacle of the Madonna of the Cough (1484)

Benozzo Gozzoli

The Tabernacolo della Madonna della Tosse is a moment of profound intimacy: Mary is breastfeeding baby Jesus in her arms with a look full of tenderness. In this familiar act we can see that part of Mary closer to her worldliness, being both mother and woman. Benozzo maintaining a strong and emphatic language with the faithful, realizing an interpretation of a Mary both worldly and sentimental, part of the iconography of “Breastfeeding Madonnas”, followed very much in Italy, especially in Tuscany.

This representation evoked a strong devotion by women, so much so that mothers brought their children to the tabernacle to ask for divine healing of their whooping cough.


Sinopias paintings form the Tabernacle of the Visitation

Benozzo Gozzoli

The sinopias cherished at BeGo allow us to step back in time and observe the creative process of the artist in its initial phase, a moment of doubts, certainties, afterthoughts. Yes, because Benozzo, once having decided the compository elements of the scene, realized his preparatory drawings by hand directly on the fresh plaster, specifically known as intonaco. This reflects deep knowledge in the art of drawing. In this way, first things appear on the wall: the grid defines the overall dimensions, the anatomies emerge underneath the clothes, expressions are sketched along with the shading. The quivering and vibrant brushstrokes seem to animate the figures in the scene, even where the characters are only slightly hinted at.

The land

From the Via Francigena to Renaissance poetry to Baroque opulence: a stroll through Castelfiorentino is a journey through the centuries.

Strolling through the streets of Castelfiorentino, we have the feeling of being able to nimbly jump from one century to another, noticing the various artistic styles of each era. From high atop thefortress that overlooked the Castrum Florentinum, we can see the village built in the 12th century to protect the crossroads of the Francigena and the Via del Sale. Walking along the walls, we move on to next period with the Romanesque Parish Church of Saint’Ippolito The church’s simplicity reflects the modest and pious lifestyle of the time,  , and in fact there are numerous churches, religious complexes (San Francesco and Santa Maria della Marca) and oratories. Admiring the tabernacles painted by Benozzo Gozzoli, we move on through the Renaissance, remerging in the Baroque opulence of the Sanctuary of Saint Verdiana. Finally, we conclude our tour in the 19th century with the exquisite Teatro del Popolo.

And there is much more to discover: download the BeGo App to explore the beauty of Castelfiorentino and its surroundings.

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Useful information


Benozzo Gozzoli Museum
Via Agostino Testaferrata, 31
50051 – Castelfiorentino (FI)
tel. +39 0571 64448

Opening hours

Monday and Friday
9 am – 1 pm

Tuesday and Thursday
4 pm – 7 pm

Saturday, Sunday and holiday
10 am – 12 pm and 4 pm – 7 pm


The museum will be closed: every Wednesday, December 25th, January 1st and Easter


Individual ticket

Regular: 3,00 €
Reduced: 2,00 €

Free admission

  • children under 7 years
  • people with disabilities and their caregivers

Reduced eligibility criteria:

  • children between 7 and 12 years
  • over 65
  • groups with more than 15 members
  • university students
  • school students and teacher

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