The San Pietro Museum is located in the monumental nunnery of the same name that was built in 1604 by Pietro Usimbardi on plans drawn up by Giorgio Vasari the Younger. It is the result of the merger between theCivic and Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art and the Conservatory of St. Peter Collection, the Romano Bilenchi Collection and the Walter Fusi Collection.
The exhibition retraces the history of the city through important works of art, in a constant dialogue between religion and the civic ambitions typical of the Medieval communes, which culminated in 1592 with the elevation of Terra di Colle to the official status of City, following the institution of the Diocese.
The visit begins on the first floor with the exhibition of sacred works of art that retell the history of faith in the Valdelsa, from the origins through to the founding of the Diocese of Colle, and then proceeds to rooms dedicated to civic collections from the 19th and 20th centuries, including works by Antonio Salvetti and Walter Fusi, two painters from Colle.
The itinerary concludes with a section dedicated to the collection put together by Roman Bilenchi, one of the most important Italian writers and intellectuals following the end of World War II. On display is a selection drawn from the rich library of the writer from Colle, together with works by Ottone Rosai, Moses Levy and Mino Maccari.
The museum is a member of the Colle Alta Museums system, along with the Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli Archaeological Museum.
Madonna in trono col Bambino (Madonna and Child on a Throne), Maestro di Badia a Isola (late 13th century): a majestic altarpiece by an unknown Sienese artist in the style of the early career of Duccio di Buoninsegna.
Crocifisso (Crucifix), Marco Romano: an absolute masterpiece of sculpture from the 1300s, which has lost none of the extraordinary emotional power expressed by the master of Gothic naturalism.
La Nicchia (estate sulle rive dell’Elsa)—The Niche (summer on the banks of Elsa), Antonio Salvetti (1894): a wild spot along the banks of the Elsa, today part of the built-up town, depicted by the Colle painter who belonged to the Macchiaioli movement.
The San Pietro Museum
Via Gracco del Secco, 102
53034 Colle di Val d’Elsa
Call Center: 0577 286300
Museo San Pietro (Museo Diocesano – Museo Civico – Conservatorio San Pietro – Collezione Bilenchi – Collezione Fusi) – Museo Archeologico “Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli”
Until 31st October
Everyday, 11 AM to 5 PM
Last admission: 4.30 PM
From 1st November to 24th December 2022
Saturday and Sunday, 3 PM – 5 PM (last entry: 4.30 PM)
Closed on Christmas Day
From 26th December to 8th January 2023
Everyday, 11 AM – 5 PM
last entry: 4.30 PM
regular : € 6,00
reduced: € 4,00
children under 6 years
As a stronghold that was fought over for many years by Florence and Siena, Colle fell under Florentine rule in the mid-1300s, when its economic power was at its height. The city is famous as the 1240 birthplace of the architect and sculptor Arnolfo di Cambio, to whom the main square was later dedicated, and the 1370 birthplace of Cennino Cennini, author of Il Libro d’Arte (The Book of Art), a fundamental treatise on Medieval painting techniques. The town, once divided into different quarters known as Piano, Borgo and Castello (today “Colle Alta” and “Colle Bassa”), was renowned from the 1700s onward for its paper mills, which were driven by the river and by its gore (waterways leading to a mill). Having become an episcopal seat in the 1500s, Colle has noteworthy buildings in architectural and urbanistic terms: the Palazzo Campana, which stands in the historic city centre; the Teatro dei Varii, a delightful experiment in theatre-design by Bibiena; the Convent of St. Francis and the impressive Duomo (Cathedral). Today it is known as the “Crystal City” because it is responsible for 15% of crystal production throughout the world and more than 95% of all crystal produced in Italy, blending together the very best in design with an age-old local tradition of glasswork.