The Museum located inside Town Hall of San Miniato, which dates back to the early 14th century, as the residence of the so-called “Twelve Defenders of the People” who governed the city after the death of Emperor Frederick the Second.
At ground floor, the Oratory of Loretino, a place of worship that once guarded the venerated image of the Holy Crucifix. The image was moved to the Sanctuary, bearing the same name and standing opposite the Town Hall.
There is a legend about it: it seems that it had been brought to San Miniato by two mysterious pilgrims who left it in the house of a poor widow, closed in a box from which a strange light filtered at night. In its place was placed the Madonna of Loreto, from which derives the current name of the Oratory.
On the second floor the marvellous “Room of the Seven Virtues”, (Sala delle Sette Virtù) the oldest of the Palace. The frescoes with sacred and civil representations were realized between the end of the 14th century and 16th century thanks to the contribution of the most important city families. Of remarkable value, the sample of coats of arms and heraldic insignia affixed by the Florentine Vicars, the Virgin suckling the child surrounded by the theological and cardinal Virtues, (hence the name of the room): caution, justice, temperance, fortitude, faith, hope and charity. The Hall is used to celebrate civil marriages and special events.
Another beauty of the Palace is the 18th-century Sala del Consiglio (Council Hall), where the sessions of the City Council are still held. While in the Room of the Seven Virtues the coats of arms are of the vicars, in this one the coats of arms of the former Florentine governors stand out.