Anne's Blog

Near Reggello, Cascia Secrets Unveiled

Date: September 26, 2017 - categories: , - 1 Comment

Enroute to a wedding celebration near Reggello, south of Florence, we stopped for an espresso in a whisper of a town along the winding road skirting vineyards and olive groves, Cascia di Reggello.

A towering bellower flanked a medieval church graced with a Romanesque portico and we headed over to explore: what a gem, that Pieve di Cascia.



…and the poster inside in the church entryway announced a surprise: the first masterpiece of Masaccio, called “the founder of the Italian Renaissance,” in this off-the-beaten-track Tuscan village? (But how can I even be surprised at such hidden wonders after over forty years in Italy?)


A priest was seated reading in one of the pews in the nearly empty 12th- c church. When I whispered “Masaccio?” to him, he smiled, closed the book and motioned for us to follow him out the side door. He led us into the sacristy, proudly showing us the base of the bellower, indicating the massively thick walls as he put on his stole for Mass. When he heard that Pino restored medieval architecture, he enthusiastically elaborated on the history of the bellower and adjacent church.

Near a young altar boy, Pino admires the massive bellower walls


As he readies for Mass, the priest tells us the history of the belltower and the church


Before the priest headed back into the church for Mass, he showed us the door to the adjacent Museo Masaccio d’Arte Sacra where elderly local volunteers serve as museum personnel, recounting the history of the artifacts with passione.

Local volunteers explain the museum treasures to Pino


The collection of richly-embroidered vestments and altar cloths, the gold and silver ex-votos and paintings by Florentine masters all bear witness to the importance of Cascia in the Renaissance, once a part of the Florentine contado. Not surprisingly, numerous noble Florentine families had built countryside villas in the area.

Treasures of arte sacra in Cascia







…..and in the back room in the dark, we came to the museum highlight, Masaccio’s early 15th-c Triptych of San Giovenale:


….and the two volunteers indicated to us exquisite details of the triptych which we’d have missed if there on or own. We might have overlooked Masaccio’s signature on the base of the throne and certainly those two wedding rings on the Virgin’s left hand. One of our guides told us why: “Masaccio’s mother had died when he was young and his father remarried.”





As we left this gemstone of a small museum, we passed a group of Italian visitors about to enter. Like us, they know that you can seek out Italy’s treasures for a lifetime and never even skim the surface.


The Cascia and Reggello area merit further exploration – moltissimo!


Read about Masaccio
More news here on the “founder of Renaissance art”
Read about ex voto images

1 Comment

  • Ann Krapf says:

    It’s amazing the beautiful art and history found in these tiny villages. Thank goodness you ran into that priest to help you find these treasures. You and Pino look wonderful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Privacy Policy

Privacy Italian Legislative Decree n° 196/2003 Under Article 13 of the Italian Legislative Decree no. 196/2003, regulations with regard to the Protection of Personal Data, this is an informative report to all interested parties on the modality of the treatment of personal data, arising from interaction with our website
THE PRINCIPAL FOR DATA TREATMENT During site consultation, personal data referring to identified or identifiable persons can be processed. The principal for data treatment is Anne Robichaud Pian della Pieve Assisi 06081 (PG) Italy. The data will be mainly processed at the mentioned head office by the people responsible for the website or by other people appointed for occasional maintenance operations, provided that their actions conform to of the guarantees enshrined in the Legislative Decree 196/2003.
Web navigation The information systems and software procedures required for the functioning of this website, acquire some personal data during their normal service, the transmission of which is implicit in the use of web communication protocols. This information is not collected with the purpose of identifying interested parties, but due to its very nature, the information could lead to user identification through processes and relations with data held by third parties. In this data category there are IP addresses or domain names belonging to computers used by users who connect to the site, addresses with URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) notification of the requested resources, time of the request, used method in submitting the request to the server, dimension of the file obtained in replying, the numeric code mentioning the reply status given by the server (successful reply, error, etc?) and other parameters referred to the operation system and to the user’s information environment. This data is used with the sole purpose of obtaining anonymous statistical information on the use of the site and to check the correct functioning; immediately after processing, the data is erased.
Data voluntarily supplied by the user The voluntary optional and explicit e-mail transmission to the addresses mentioned in this site implies the subsequent acquisition of the sender’s address, necessary to reply to the queries, as well as the other eventual personal data registered in the message.
OPTIONAL PERSONAL DATA SUPPLY Except for the above mentioned navigation data, the user may be asked to supply his own personal data through queries or messages to the email addresses shown in the contact pages. Failure to provide such data may be the cause of the inability to obtain the requested information from the company.
TREATMENT MODALITY The personal data is treated in compliance with the Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 and held only for the time necessary to achieve the aim for which it has been collected. Specific safety measures are taken to prevent any data loss, illicit or incorrect use and unauthorized access.
RIGHTS OF THIRD PARTIES The data subjects are at any time entitled to obtain confirmation as to whether or not data relating to him are held, to know the contents and the origin, to check the correctness, to ask for integration, updating or change (art. 7 Decree Law 196:June 2003). In accordance with the same article, they are entitled to obtain the erasure, conversion into anonymous form or freezing of all data used in breach of the law, to object, on legitimate grounds, to the processing of data relating to him. All requests have to be transmitted to the e-mail address

Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)