Bonistallo Church - Poggio A Caiano (PO) -

The oratory of the Compagnia delle Sacre Stimmate, built in 1600, became the parish seat by decree of the bishop of Pistoia and Prato Monsignor Gabriele Vettori on 10 May 1922. The ancient church of Santa Maria Assunta in Bonistallo had in fact been sold in 1902. The new parish was run by the priest Ciro Puggelli from 1922 until 1950, the year in which Don Giuseppe Frati became parish priest of Bonistallo until 1981. The church of San Francesco stands on an embankment, preceded by a nineteenth-century portico which preserves numerous tombstones. The church with a single nave, covered by a lowered barrel vault, has an eighteenth-century interior. Above the four side doors, mixtilinear folders frame stucco reliefs. Among the works, Jesus Christ blessing and the saints Francesco and Lorenzo, by Fra Felice da Sambuca, born Gioacchino Viscosi, who worked in Tuscany since 1777; and the Madonna del Rosario with Saints Dominic and Catherine, arched canvas painted in 1623 by Matteo Rosselli. Behind the main altar there is a canvas by Francesco Inverni depicting St. Francis praying on his knees (1986). The church took special care of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, who owned the Medici villa of Poggio a Caiano nearby. In the ancient church of Santa Maria Assunta in Bonistallo the bowels of Francesco I de 'Medici and Bianca Cappello, who died in the villa, were buried' in four halves', the discovery of which has led to suspicion of their arsenic poisoning, a hypothesis however not confirmed from following scientific studies. (source: www.

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