Chiesa di San Niccolò

Sitting in Piazza Busatti, Sorano’s Chiesa di San Niccolò took almost 200 years to finish. No joke, it was started in the 13th century and finally finished in 1509.

But the wait was worth it. This is Sorano’s most beautiful, most beloved church in every sense.

In the 18th century it was heavily renovated and the left nave and Cappella del Crocifisso were added, while the central nave was widened. Unfortunately, much of the medieval and Romanesque architectural details that defined the original church were lost during these renovations.

Still, the church holds a special place in the hearts of local. I think it has something to do with the artwork that adorns every inch of its interior.

They vary in age, but all of the pieces have been beautifully chosen and reflect the old school mode of thinking, where only the most striking and skillfully painted/carved/sculpted works were allowed to adorn the walls of churches.

The main exquisite ‘Madonna del Buon Consiglio’, which was donated by Cosimo II de’Medici in the 17th century, is a testament to this way of thinking. It will leave you speechless with its rich details and expressive characters. The shading on this is so precise, that the Madonna and saints all look like they’re 3D.

Other Renaissance works in the church are by famous local artist Raffaello Vanni, who painted both the Madonna and St. Domenico. Also keep an eye out for the octagonal baptismal font, which was built in 1549.