At the beginning of the XIIIth century S. Verdiana retired into a small cell of the oratory di S. Antonio Abbot, to lead a life of solitude and meditation. According to tradition, she remained there 34 years and died in 1236. Later a first church was erected over the Cellina (little cell), repeatedly enlarged and modified during the centuries. During the XVIIIth century the architecture and decoration were remodelled according to Baroque taste, giving the Shrine its current appearance. The result was an elegant and homogeneous church, among the most harmonious of the Tuscan XVIIIth century. The prospect (B. Fallani, 1771) is articulated in two orders with terracotta statues by I. Miert (1810). On the left is the steeple from 1805. The structure is that of a basilica, with naves divided by pillars. The interior, designed by Foggini, has a composite roof with barrel vault in the main nave and small domes in the lateral naves. On the tribuna rises the main dome, frescoed by Matteo Bonechi. The roof of the central nave was decorated by A. Gherardini, who painted S. Verdiana welcomed into the glory of Heaven. It is possible to visit the subterranean cell where the Saint lived for so long, and to see a collection of paintings, church plate and illuminated manuscripts. Visits are booked by phone.
Principali opere presenti: Almsgiving by St. Tommaso from Villanova, by S. Pignoni, XVIIth century; Stygmata of St. Francesco, by O. Fidani, XVIIth century.