Panzano in Chianti - things to see, art and architecture

The name of the village of Panzano is of Roman origin but the settlement is older since Etruscan finds have been made in the neighbourhood. The first documentary evidence is 11 C, when the development of the "borgo", the village around the castle, took place. The castle stands on a ridge separating the Val di Greve from the Val di Pesa, exactly halfway between Florence and Sienna, between which it was always a source of contention. The castle is now private, but the courtyard and the surroundings can be visited, and the houses along the downhill road have a mediaeval character. There are some remnants of the old Roman paved roads, the Senice, which are still in use.

Panzano's churches are definitely worth a visit: The Church of Santa Maria (Santa Maria Assunta), which stands next to the castle, was completely rebuilt in the 19 C on the site of an ancient church, but it possesses a small 14 C Siennese Madonna and Child attributed to Botticini. In the oratory through the little door to the right of the nave is an Annunciation attributed to Michele di Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio.

Santa Maria Assunta, Panzano

Santa Maria Assunta, Panzano
Pieve di San Leolino

The Romanesque Pieve (parish church) of San Leolino is probably of 8 C origin and was completely rebuilt in the 12 C in Romanesque style. Inside there is a beautiful 14 C cloister, as well as a 13 C alterpiece (Meliore di Jacopo), a 15 C triptych by the "Maestro di Panzano" and two glazed tabernacles attributed to Giovanni della Robbia. There are no regular opening hours but try ringing at the Church.
Oratory of Saint Euphrosynus

The Oratory of Saint Euphrosynus (Sant'Eufrosino), a local saint, was the destination of pilgrimages during the Middle Ages. The church was completely rebuilt in 1441 in the Gothic style. It has a chapel with a little Romanesque altar, which probably belonged to the previous oratory. The church is open only for concerts and exhibitions, but nevertheless it is always worth walking down to the oratory or around it, since it is located in a really beautiful place, in middle of the so called "Conca d'Oro", the golden basin of Panzano.
Both churches are located some distance out of Panzano and you reach them by walking or driving south along the Via Chiantigiana. After passing the last houses, you turn left and go uphill to San Leolino. A short distance further on, to your right, there is a sign indicating the way downhill to Sant'Eufrosino.