The Church of the Madonna del Morbo

🎧 info-point by Adele Mazzoli

In front of the Church of San Marco and San Lorenzo, in the center of the village of Poppi, there is the Oratory of the Madonna del Morbo, better known as the Church of the Madonna del Morbo.

The Church was built between 1651 and 1659 on a project by the doctor from Poppi Francesco Folli, in honor of the Madonna who had protected the people of Poppi from the plague which broke out in the neighboring areas. The same plague, that of 1628, described by Alessandro Manzoni in the historical novel “I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed)”.

The oratory, as can be seen from the Statute, is “owned by the people of Poppi”, as it was built at the expense of the population who intended, in this way, to thank the Madonna for having saved the population of Poppi from the disease.
From an architectural point of view, the Oratory represents a seventeenth-century temple with a hexagonal plan, surmounted by an external scaled dome with a looped skylight and internally decorated with a starry sky motif.
Externally the Church is closed on three sides by the presence of a loggia, with arched columns.

Among the noteworthy works inside the building we point out, in the high altar, the image of the Virgin with Child and San Giovannino.

The panel painting, dating back to the 15th century and attributed to the painter Pier Francesco Fiorentino, is enclosed in a gilded frame and is displayed inside a tabernacle. The work, already present at the time of construction of the Oratory, was presented from the outset of rather small dimensions. Precisely for this reason, the Florentine painter Lorenzo Lippi was commissioned to create another canvas that could integrate with the previous one. The oil painting in question, dating back to 1664, depicts Saint Joseph, Saint Anthony of Padua and Torello, a Franciscan hermit friar who later became the town’s patron saint.

Of considerable importance we can find, on the right altar, an oil on canvas depicting the Coronation of the Virgin with Saints Torello, Francesco and Romualdo.
The work is attributed to the seventeenth-century Florentine painter Pier Dandini, one of the most active artists in Florence in the Baroque era.


illustration by Massimo Tosi from the website


Church of Madonna del Morbo (you are here)


Church of San Marco e Lorenzo


Abbey San Fedele


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