A church from the 1200s in the heart of Lamporecchio, discover the Church of Santa Maria del Pruno.
In Lamporecchio, exactly in Orbignano, solitary and protected by cypresses and olive trees, is the church of Santa Maria Assunta, perhaps one of the oldest places in the area, whose origins have their roots in the barbarian age.
Of the church of Santa Maria Assunta al Pruno in Orbignano there is certain information from 1276 when it appears among the suffragan churches of the parish of Santo Stefano in Lamporigium (today Lamporecchio). But the remains of the Romanesque filaretto suggest that its origins are more ancient.
The appellative ‘al Pruno’, on the other hand, is to be found in the sacred object that gives the church its popular name, that is the Madonna and Child in carved and painted oak wood, called ‘del Pruno’, for the story, told according to tradition, following its discovery in a scrub of brambles (or prunes), after it had been stolen.
The Romanesque building, the few remains of which remain near the tribune, underwent a radical alteration and expansion in the first half of the fourteenth century with the growth of a heartfelt Marian cult; in this period the church was also popularly elevated to the rank of sanctuary. Also from the fourteenth century is the construction of a small cloister and the reconstruction of the rectory. Further works date back to the post-war period and lasted until the end of the 1970s.
On the left wall we find some predominantly Marian representations. On the right wall and near the gallery three assembled scenes depict the ‘Nativity of Jesus’ with the ‘Adoration of the shepherds’ and the ‘Washing of the Infant’. These paintings surprisingly evoke different details of the frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi in the Baroncelli Chapel (1335) in the church of Santa Croce in Florence.
Another prominent work inside the building is a Carrara marble stoup with a circular cup in the shape of a floral chalice attributable to the mid-fourteenth century due to its evident Gothic taste.
Orbignano is also important for the bond of the parish territory with the Da Vinci family. In the sixteenth century, in fact, one of Leonardo’s brothers, ser Domenico da Vinci, resided near the Costareccia. In 1594, after his death, Leonardo’s younger brother, Ser Lorenzo da Vinci, was buried in the cloister of the church of Orbignano.
On April 18, Easter Monday, during the Open week 2022, do not miss a visit to this wonderful Pieve and a wonderful walk with a guided tour in Italian and English. The walk will reveal unforgettable views, the same ones that inspired the genius of Leonardo Da Vinci more than five hundred years ago, and which will stop at the church of Santa Maria del Pruno in Orbignano and on the Leporaia hill.
Duration of the visit: about 3 hours.
Difficulty: medium with uphill sections (6 Km).
For info: Municipality of Lamporecchio – San Baronto Municipal Tourist Office e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – Environmental Guide 347 8156922.