San Casciano in Val di Pesa underwent heavy bombardments in 1944: particularly hit was the area of Delle Erbe square, which saw the complete destruction of the municipal palace and of the nearby Oratory of Conception, better known as “il Chiesino”. This small 18th century oratory was never rebuilt, anyway its existence is witnessed in some photos and postcards of the time .
The bombings did not spare the 15th century nunnery of San Francesco (better known as “the Cross”) [2, 3] and, most of all, the church of Saint Mary of Jesus (“of the Suffrage”) [4, 5] brought almost into debris. This church, rebuilt in the immediate post-war period, hosts on its façade some memorial stones saved from the debris of the Chiesino to eternal memory of that ancient building.
Beyond the significant damages suffered by the famous square’s tower of the clock, mostly rebuilt in its present forms, a significant lost was undoubtedly the destruction of the Porta al Prato (the “Porticciola”). This is the only one still existing of the four doors of the ancient castle of San Casciano, placed in the final part of the present Via Morrocchesi, near the church of Saint Mary del Prato (or “of Mercy”). Of the upper Tower, visible in many postcards of the period before the war , remains today only a small part and the door was almost completely rebuilt.