San Lorenzo, patron saint of Borgo, is celebrated as both a religious and civic feast. He is remembered on August 10 when at night his tears fall from the sky far above us. And it is easy, while lying in the pitch dark on one of the many hills that surround the town, to look up at those falling stars and make a wish.
The town centre is surely the most interesting start for your tour. Two gates welcome you to the town: Fiorentina and Orologio, part of the ancient walls built in 1351. A visit to San Lorenzo Parish Church, built in 941 - the biggest Romanesque church in the area - is a must. Inside we find numerous excellent works of art. Among these: the Madonna attributed to Giotto, a panel of the Crucifix of the Giotto school, the Madonna on the Throne with Child attributed to Agnolo Gaddi, and the Virgin and the Saints Francis and Dominic by Matteo Rosselli. The apse was frescoed by Galileo Chini. To the right of the church we find a lovely polychrome terracotta tabernacle produced by the Fornaci Chini.
(tel. 055 8459295 - www.parocchiaborgosanlorenzo.it )
Not far from the city centre, we find the Oratorio del Santissimo Crocifisso dei Miracoli, built in the 18th century to hold a painted wooden Crucifix left there in 1400 by German pilgrims fleeing the plague. It is set in a deep niche above the main altar, and is covered by an enormous 19th century "mechanically run" curtain that is lifted on special occasions when the Crucifix is put on display for the parishioners.
(tel. 055 8459088)
Near the Oratory, we find Villa Pecori Giraldi, home to the Museo civico della Manifattura Chini (Chini Museum). This amazing villa, surrounded by a park, houses numerous works by Galileo Chini and members of his family, both painted and architectural. On the first floor of the building, in the halls of the museum, we find an exquisite collection of Art Nouveau ceramics, and stained-glass windows (www.villapecori.it - www.museochini.it)
On the hills that surround Borgo San Lorenzo
A delightful walk awaits you from the square in Grezzano to the Museo della Civiltà Contadina di Casa d’Erci (Museum of Farm Life and Customs - www.casaderci.it). The original layout of the farm house was restored and furnished using period pieces (the bedroom, kitchen, spinning room, laundry etc.), and it holds a rich collection of farm tools from the 19th and 20th centuries. Before reaching the Museum, on the path that leads to the farmhouse, we find the Mulino ad acqua Faini (Faini water mill), built in the 15th century.
From Casa d'Arci, located in the Giogo Casaglia Forestry Complex, we can take round trips to the mountain crests along beaten trails or have lunch in picnic areas. A stop at the Mulino ad acqua Margheri (Margheri water mill) located in Madonna dei Tre Fiumi, is a must (tel. 055 8403051 - 348 5515426), and Mr. Cerbai, the owner, is always ready to welcome visitors. The mill, built in roughly 845, is still in perfect working condition. Visitors are welcome to view the grinding process and to buy wholesome wheat flour, corn flour or chestnut flour. On the opposite side of the road stands an Oratory, built roughly in 1578.
The Colla di Casaglia Pass is not far off, and from it run a number of trails through the Giogo Casaglia Forestry complex or down through chestnut groves to the town of Ronta. The trails are suited for both trekking and MTB.
of the first Agricultural Industrial Exhibition of the Mugello and the Sieve Valley. It was semi-destroyed by the earthquake in 1919.