SANTA MARIA IN UNDECIMO

Santa Maria in Undecimo – km 83

This church rises about two kilometers before Fognano at the feet of a green hill covered with olive trees on the right bank of the river Lamone going towards Brisighella. The locality reveals ancient roman beginnings as its name testifies. In fact, it is the eleventh milestone of the roman road that began at “Faentia” and ran along the valley of the Lamone.

Historical sources maintain that the parish of Santa Maria in Undecimo may have risen in the eleventh century when, due to an increase in the population, there rose other churches (often “chapels”) that acted as branches of the “Mother Church” of Pieve del Tho. The first documents that record this sacred edifice goes back to 1205 and is subsequently appears in many other documents. At the beginning of the thirteenth was added the Italianized nickname of “Poggiale” from the Latin “podium”, or hillock.

In the Cardinal Anglico’s census of 1371 we find news of the church at this location that is recorded as having 30 hearths (about 200 inhabitants). During his visit of 1573 Marchesini praises this sacred building as one of the most dignified in the Dioceses of Faenza.

The current church was rebuilt in 1848 by the parish priest don Amedeo Bosi and that this was done also with the contribution by a rich and noble family of the area, that of the Marquis Cattani. The properties of the Cattani and of the Ginnani-Fantuzzi were centred around these lands. At the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries they then acquired the house of the Spada family at Brisighella. The last heir of the Spada family became the bride of the Marquis Paolucci De Calboli at Forli, thus abandoning Brisighella and the birthplace of her ancestors.

The current churches conserves a discrete number of works of art. In the presbytery there arevfrescos of the artist Lodovico Carroli of Brisighella (1882 – 1942). “Poggiale” is still inhabited and, apart from the already cited phenomenon of commuting to work in the plains around Faenza, a fair number of inhabitants are still tied to the world of rural work.

Villa Ragazzini o “Villa Corte”

Near the church of Santa Maria in Undecimo and nearly invisible in the green of a small promontory stands out Villa Ragazzini, commonly called “Villa Corte” that once belonged to this family and whose last descendant, Lucia (1861 – 1939) in a generous gesture donated her considerable patrimony, lands and ancestral house to the Congregation of Charity of Brisighella. The villa, possibly of nineteenth century construction, preserved a décor of some value composed of furniture by local artisans and works of art dating back even earlier. Today the residence is used as a restaurant that recently restored the ambience to its previous primitive splendor. Therefore it is possible to now see a place of some value shine once more.

Piero Malpezzi