Pieve di Marlia
Denomination: Plebs Sanctae Mariae
First documented: 918
History and Architecture
The great number of churches located on the territory of Marlia since the early Middle Ages (Saint Giusto, considered as the oldest among the Tuscan rural churches, and Saint Martin of Ducentola, preserve features and decorations of Lombard age) are an evidence of the antiquity of this parish.
This pieve was probably built by the will of bishop Telesperiano (713-130) and the first documents about it appeared in 918.
During the centuries, the pieve has been deeply modified: the most important change was made during the reconstruction of the nineteenth century, based on the project of Giuseppe Pardini. The classical features of the ancient models are wisely mixed with the renaissance one, and the result is particularly rich as regards colours and decorations.
Of the romanic building, characterized by the presence of regular rows in sandstone, remains only the left side with its high arch. The stairs of the bell tower were replaced in 1921 with new ones, in the local Matraia stone.
The structure was renewed at the beginning of the XVI century and in the XVII century, but reached the present aspect only in the first half of the nineteenth century, when a tympanum supported by four columns in neoclassical style was added to the façade. An actic with three marble statues (Faith, Hope and Charity) is located on the summit.
Near an outer wall we find the roman gravestone of the Vagilia family that indicate that the parish was built on an area originally used as place of worship or cemetery.
The interior, thanks to the delicate colours of the walls and the marble furniture, indicate the will of creating a geometrical harmony.
Works of art
The church has a nave supportede by monumental columns.
It is to highlight the presence of the 1509 altar piece with lunette of Michelangelo Membrini, representing the Virgin with Child between Saint Donnino and Saint John the evangelist, originally located in the church of Saint Donnino.
We also find two paintings of Nicolao Landucci and two of Sebastiano Onestini.
The pulpit was built in 1878 by Augusto Passaglia.