A unique building covered in terracotto which in some ways resembles a church and in others a factory. It was built to become the Musuem of Benozzo Gozzoli and today hosts the frescoes created by the famous 15th Century Florentine painter for the road tabernacles of the Madonna of the Cough and of the Madonna of the Visitation.
Displayed along the approach road to Castelfiorentino, these tabernacles were the subject of great devotion for centuries by both pilgrims and citizens alike who could stop here to pray in front of the splendid scenes of the Virgin taken from the Gospel and brought to life by the unique hand of Benozzo. For conservation reasons, the frescoes were moved to the Museum where today they can be admired together with the sinoper underpainting discovered when removing the fresco.
As one enters, one is immediately attracted by the imposing Tabernacle of the Visitation (1491), more than 6 metres high, which Benozzo Gozzoli and his sons Francesco and Alessio, painted with frescoes depicting the stories of the Virgin and Joachim and Anna. Following the scene order clockwise, one climbs the stairs leading to a mezzanine floor where it is possible to enjoy an extraordinary close up view of the artwork and all its detail.
The second floor is dedicated to the Tabernacle of the Madonna of the Cough (1484), which came from the small chapel where children infected with whopping cough came to ask the Virgin to cure them. Here, the reassuring images of Mary, Jesus and the Saints still remain intact and sacred.
To end the visit there are some multimedia stations which allow the visitor to further their appreciation of the details of the frescoes or to discover more about the life and works of Benozzo Gozzoli.
Via A. Testaferrata, Castelfiorentino
tel. 0571 64448