The Monastery of Saint Francesco was erected on a hill at the beginning of the old road to Montefioralle during the first half of the 16th century for the friars of the Santa Croce Monastery at San Casciano. It was actually a hospice , not a permanent dwelling place for monks, but a stopping place for Franciscans walking between Florence and Siena and vice versa, as well as a shelter for friars.
Following the temporary suppression enforced by Napoleonic laws, the friars abandoned the hospice in 1866, when it was used first as a prison and then divided into apartments, before becoming a Museum of Religious Art.
A visit to the Museum starts in the great hall of the Oratory, displaying works of high artistic value, among them the splendid polychrome terracotta depicting the Mourning over the Dead Christ, attributed to Baccio da Montelupo.
All the paintings in this room come are ecclesiastical in nature. Originally placed above the altars of their respective churches of provenance, they are kept here for safety and conservation, as in the case of the Madonna and Child with St Bartholomew and St Francis by Francesco Granacci, painted during the last ten years of the 15th century.
Housed in ancient sacristy are religious vestments and furnishings, including a 14th-century reliquary cross in rock crystal a small stained-glass window portraying St. Sylvester, which comes from the church of Convertoie.
The exhibition of paintings and liturgical vestments continues on the upper floor, with some objects remarkable for their great refinement, such as the temple-shaped reliquary coming from the Abbey of Montescalari, made to contain the remains of the martyr Cassianus.
Via San Francesco 4
Greve in Chianti (Fi)
Winter museum visiting :
from November 1 to March 31
Tue - Thu 15-18, Sat - Sun 10-13 15-18
Summer museum visiting :
from april 1 to October 31
Tue - Thu - Fri 16-19
Sat - Sun 10-13 16-19
Special openings on request for groups and school groups