Saint Mary Church

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Panzano and Pieve San Leolino

Panzano - Panorama
Panzano - ViewPanzano - Church of Santa Maria - InteriorPanzano - Church of Santa Maria - Exterior

Panzano is a small enchanting village located in the Chianti Region.

The first settlement in the area was probably Etruscan. Due to its strategical location the village was involved in the war between Siena and Florence. A castle was built probably around the 11th century and it was sacked several times. When the Sienese Republic and the King of Naples attacked the area in 1478 the castle became one of the most important bastion of the Florentine defense. After the decline of the Sienese Republic Panzano was never involved in a war until 1944.

It is still possible to see most of the walls built to protect the castle; one of the defensive towers was converted in what today is the Bell Tower of the Saint Mary Church.

Outside the perimeter of the castle during the 12th century a Borgo started to develop. Many of the buildings were remodeled during the 17th century, however it is still possible to see under the plaster the medieval structures.

Things to see

Panzano offers to its visitors some beautiful churches. The most famous one is located right outside the city: Pieve of San Leolino. The first document in which the church is nominated are date back to the 10th century, however it is possible that the church is even older. The original building was remodeled during the 12th century. During the Middle Age the church was very important. At the beginning of the 16th century its exterior was transformed and during the baroque period the interior was heavily remodeled. Only in 1942 the Pieve of San Leolino was given back its Romanesque look. The church is decorated with many beautiful paintings.