|Comune di Impruneta|
Basilica of Impruneta.
|Province / Metropolitan city||Florence (FI)|
|Frazioni||Abate, Bagnolo, Bagnolo - Cantagallo, Baruffi, Borgaccio,Borgo di Sopra, Bottai, Codaccio, Collegramole Case Nuove, Colline, Convento di San Paolo, Fabbiolle, Falciani, Il Ferrone, Il Pino, Invalidi di Guerra, La Casina, Le Rose, L'Ugolino, Mezzomonte, Monte Oriolo, Pozzolatico, Presura, Ravanella, Riboia, San Gersolè, San Gersolè - Torre Rosse, San Lorenzo alle Rose, Sant'Isidoro, Suore Domenicane, Tavarnuzze, Terme di Firenze|
|• Mayor||Ida Beneforti Gigli (since May 25, 2003)|
|• Total||48 km2 (19 sq mi)|
|Elevation||275 m (902 ft)|
|Population (31 August 2007)|
|• Density||310/km2 (800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||St. Luke the Evangelist|
|Saint day||October 16|
Name and production
The name Impruneta is derived from inprunetis meaning "within the pine woods", and is known for its fine production of terracotta. The terracotta is made from local clay, has a red-colored finish, and production includes everything from small tiles to large garden vases and statues.
The most important feature of Impruneta is the Sanctuary of Santa Maria. The Basilica dates from 1060, being probably located over an ancient devotional site of Etruscan times (6th century BC). It was an important site of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages.
The basilica was bombed during World War II and now few of the original decorations can be seen. The façade is preceded by a portico by Gherardo Silvani (1634), built by the Florentine people as vow for the liberation from the plague, and by a bell tower from the 13th century. The interior has a single nave; artworks include a Nativity by Domenico Passignano and a Vocation of St. Peter by Jacopo da Empoli. The presbytery is flanked by two niches by Michelozzo decorated by Luca della Robbia, housing the relics of the Holy Cross and the Madonna's image to which the sanctuary is devoted and, which, according to tradition, was painted by St. Luke himself.
The museum connected to the basilica is home to one of the oldest-known pieces of European patchwork, the so-called Impruneta Cushion, dating from the late 14th or early 15th centuries. The cushion belonged to Bishop Antonio degli Agli, priest in charge of Santa Maria dell'Impruneta from 1439 to his death in 1477, and was found in his tomb after the church was damaged by an Allied bomb in 1944.
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