Tourist Attraction in Montespertoli: La Pieve di Santa Maria
The parish church of Santa Maria is a religious building located in Coeli Aula, in the municipality of Montespertoli. The parish church of Coeli Aula has very ancient origins; the first evidence dates back to the ninth and tenth centuries. In the XI century in its territory the Cadolingi counts and the Badia Fiorentina possessed. Thanks perhaps to the donations of these institutions the church, in 1093, was equipped with a baptistery that was built in front of the facade. At the beginning of the eighteenth century the church was completely rebuilt and already in 1708 it appears that the Company of Santa Croce had its own altar in the church; in 1796 the bell tower had already been built. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the baptistery was dismantled and the marble inlays that decorated the baptismal base were placed inside the church. In 1888 the municipality of Montespertoli decided to rebuild the baptistery but nothing was done. The church remained in operation until the sixties of the twentieth century, was later abandoned. In 1986 it was joined to the parish of Montespertoli and its premises were initially used in the Association Guide and Italian Catholic Scouts of Empoli, later in 1990 the EIRENE Association was founded which, inspired by the principles of scouting, manages the structure. The baptistery outside the church was also present in the parishes of San Pietro in Bossolo, Sant'Appiano, Sant'Alessandro a Giogoli and in the parish church of Empoli. The baptismal font was placed inside, attributed to Lino da Siena. The style of some parts of the panels is very similar to those found in an architrave of the parish church of Sant'Appiano, while the source must have been very similar to that of the church of Sant'Agata in Sant'Agata di Scarperia and San Piero.