by Maria Maddalena Grossi
There have been records of the ancient country parish church of San Leolino in Panzano in Chianti right since the 10th century in a document of Badia a Passignano (Tavarnelle Val di Pesa) and its architectural structure holds both traces of the Romanesque period (12th century) and the ensuing refurbishments of the 15th century. These latter can be seen in the entrance portico made up of a series of five arches leading towards the interior, itself divided into three large naves with arches supported by four-sided columns. The artistic heritage kept in the Pieve is of remarkable interest amongst which is a first century dossal said to be by Meliore di Jacopo with Our Lady enthroned between the saints Peter and Paul and episodes from their lives, the major altar has a triptych said to be by Mariotto di Nardo with Our Lady and Child between St. Francis, St. John the Baptist, St. Lawrence and St. Eufrosino, where a scene of each saint’s life is portrayed upon its altar step corresponding to the saint. Other two paintings decorate the church, respectively a 15th-century Madonna and Child in the left aisle and a triptych of the end of the 15th century in the right-hand aisle with a Madonna and Child in the midst of St. Catherine, St. Peter and St. Paul. The charm of the pieve is partly given by its position overlooking the so-called “Golden Basin of Chianti” for the shape of the hills which enclose a large and deep valley.