PANICAGLIA

Panicaglia – km 35,7 – Refreshment N° 8

San Giovanni Maggiore

At the end of a long row of cypresses rises the magnificent Pieve romanica di San Giovanni Maggiore in Panicaglia with its romantic loggia lined with 5 arches and its perfect hexagonal bell tower and all with more than a thousand years of existence at its shoulders in a stretch of land that is amongst the most beautiful and fertile of the whole Mugello.

And it is exactly this characteristic that makes this portion of the Tuscan territory more unique than rare. In fact, with everything seems linear all it takes is a curve, an incline, a small knoll to open small vales that hide jewels of history, art and architecture. If we are is amazed by San Giovanni Maggiore before reaching Ronta, birthplace of the eighteenth century illuminist poet Filippo Pananti, to the right of the road that leads to Faenza our eyes notice the distant sumptuous Villas such as that of “La Casa” where Monsignor Giovanni della Casa, author of the book of manners “Galateo” was born in 1503, or the Villa del “Corniolo” where Sandro Botticelli was delighted to paint in the gardens of the Oratory a beautiful polyptich with the “Madonna and Child” at its centre. Last, but not least, is the Villa “La Quiete” with a magnificent Italian style gardens.

But this strip of land does not lack signs of centuries old devotion with the small Romanesque church of Santa Maria a Montefloscoli where the parish priest is still Monsignor Domenico Bartolucci (born 1917) who was once Director of the Sistine Chapel and the world’s greatest living composer of sacred music. In addition, there is the seventeenth century church of Sant’Agata a Mucciano with its sail-like tower in which the three bells are set on two levels.

We are now near Ronta and after the now habitual wide curve in the road we see to the left, like a slice rising towards the sky, the church of Santa Maria a Pulicciano. This was the ancient seat of the degli Ubaldi family which in 1303 sheltered a number of Florentine émigrés, amongst whom was the great poet, Dante Alighieri.

The Villa “La Casa” in Mucciano. Here in 1503 was born Monsignor Giovanni Della Casa, author of “Etiquette”. The splendid Villa of “Dogwood” to Mucciano, formerly of the noble Florentine families, Minerbetti and Torrigiani.

It’s Beautiful garden “Italian style” of the Villa “La Quiete” to Mucciano.

A – Borgo San Lorenzo, B – Panicaglia, C – San Giovanni Maggiore, D – Mucciano

Aldo Giovannini