Scarlino's Chiesa della Madonna was built in 1759 over the top an existing 13th century church. Of course, it was renovated again in the 19th and 20th century, but much of its 18th century beauty still remains.

The real splendour of this church is in its exterior. The gabled facade is picturesque and the red-flecked bricks are the stuff of movies. You could easily imagine this church surrounded by the Swiss Alps, kindly nuns and little singing children.

The quaint bell tower doesn't just add to the look. It's also the oldest part of the church, dating back to 1340.

The church's interior isn't grand, but it's far from ugly. The one nave is topped and tailed by two altars. On the left is a 19th century image of the Madonna and Child surrounded by some beautifully coloured angels. The 16th fresco depicts the Madonna with Child, but this time she's surrounded by Saints Michael and Andrew the Apostle.

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Scarlino 1

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