Palaia| Romanesque Church of Sant’Andrea

Tradition has it that the church of 1201 was built on a pre-existing temple dedicated to the god Saturn. This could explain the atypical layout with a single large nave but no apse, choir or presbytery.

The hanging bell tower

Camminando per Palaia – ©Italia Nascosta

The peculiarity of this Romanesque church is the hanging bell tower that rests entirely on a brick column that acts as a base.

The interior houses works of artistic interest: a painted Madonna by Andrea della Robbia, a wooden crucifix on the high altar by Andrea Pisano, another wooden but painted crucifix on the left chapel, of the 14th-century Sienese school.

The Rocca and the medieval castle

From the church square we climb up to the Rocca, the highest point of the village. This was the site of the medieval castle known as “Mons Magnifrido”, recorded in a document from 986 with the square-based Cittadella fortress and crenellated walls.

All that remains of the Rocca are a few ruins, from which you can admire one of the most beautiful views over the Valdera.

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