The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Charity

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Charity was built just outside the village at the end of the 16th century by workers from Lugano in order to give thanks to the Virgin at the end of a terrible famine. The Sanctuary is considered the most important religious building in Seggiano, and is one of the most interesting examples of Mannerist architecture in the whole of Tuscany. The façade is rich in decorative elements, with stone decorations emerging from the light plaster background, three bands alternating with pilasters, and an entablature with classic decorations. The portal, which is framed by niches and volutes, culminates in a broken triangular tympanum, with a pinnacle in the centre. An oval-shaped eye is surrounded by the coats of arms of the Ugurgieri family, the main patrons of the work, the bishop of Pienza and Montalcino, Francesco Maria Piccolomini, and the local community. The interior is divided into three naves, the central one with a barrel vault, and the lateral ones with cross vaults. The naves are interrupted by the presbytery, with its luminous dome and a square base. On the main altar, there is a 15th century fresco with the miraculous image of the Madonna and Child. Along the side aisles, there are six stone altars adorned with canvases by contemporary artists, commissioned in order to replace the original ones by the Nasini brothers which were stolen in the 1960s.