Museum of Sacred Art “Santa Verdiana”
Castelfiorentino

A short distance from the Santuary of Santa Verdiana, patron saint of Castelfiorentino, this museum displays artworks, furnishings and illuminated manuscripts from churches in the area, largely donated as a sign of devotion to the saint.


Castelfiorentino, Museum of Sacred Art “Santa Verdiana”

The museum

Inaugurated in 1999, the Museum of Sacred Art of Castelfiorentino is built around a collection of works that was first begun in the 1950s and grew significantly following the important 1963 exhibition Arte in Valdelsa. Next to the Sanctuary of Santa Verdiana, from which it takes its name, the Museum has a close relationship with the church, the original source of many of its works, such as paintings removed from altars following renovation work, and ornaments donated to the saint as a sign of devotion. Another part of the collection comes from country churches scattered throughout the local area.
The museum itinerary winds through two floors, offering not only a wealth of sculpture, paintings, and liturgical paraments and objects, but also important exemplars of 13th and 14th-century illuminated manuscripts. The museum’s collections have been enhanced over the years by donations from noble and land-owning families who thus contributed to the artistic importance and fame of the Sanctuary of Santa Verdiana in Florence as well. These donations make up the collection of chalices, candle-holders and ostensoria on display on the upper floor.

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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.

Art

Santa Verdiana

Sienese Master (first half of the 14th century) and Restorer (19th century)

The work most symbolic of the museum, this painting of Santa Verdiana, patron saint of Castelfiorentino – readily identifiable by the two snakes stretching along the sides of the figure – is today considered the oldest existing panel painting of her. Unfortunately, only her face, head covering and hands are original, while the rest is a 19th-century repainting. In centuries past the painting was thought to be the work of Cimabue, but in reality, the artist was probably a Sienese master close to the circle of Duccio da Boninsegna.

Art

Madonna with Child (last decade of the 13th century)

Cenni di Pepo, known as Cimabue (attrib.)

This is one of the best-known and most important masterpieces of the Florentine Valdelsa area, and the Museum’s most prized work. For stylistic reasons, it has been attributed to Cimabue, or Duccio di Boninsegna. One interpretation suggests that Giotto may also have participated in the painting’s creation, given that at the time he was a pupil in Cimabue’s workshop. The work may have been a bit larger originally, and has undergone various restorations that weakened the paint layer, making it extremely delicate.

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

Contacts

Sacred Art Museum “Santa Verdiana”
(Museo di Arte Sacra) 

c/o Propositura Collegiata
Via Timignano, 1
50051 – Castelfiorentino (Firenze)
tel. +39 0571 64096

Opening hours

Saturday
4 pm – 7 pm

Sunday
10 am – 12 pm and 4 pm – 7 pm

Monday and Friday
9 am – 1 pm (by reservation only)

Tuesady and Thursday
4 pm – 7 pm (by reservation only)

Wednesday
open only for schools and organized groups, by appointment only

Tickets

Individual ticket
Regular: 3,00 €
Reduced: 2,00 €

 

Combined ticket
(including the BeGo Museum)

Regular: 4,00 €
Reduced: 3,00 €

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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