The church of Sant’Andrea in Cennano

The origins of the Convent and the church date back to Carlo d'Angiò. The church and the convent were built over the centuries by the Ricasoli family who commissioned Botticelli for the high altar piece.

The church of Sant’Andrea in Cennano in San Lodovico is a religious building located in via Poggio Bracciolini. Initially, from the first half of the thirteenth century to 1821, the church occupied the block between Via Bartoli and Via Cennano. The origin of the entire religious structure dates back to Carlo d’Angiò who, in 1325, passing through Montevarchi, saw that a Franciscan convent was being built: so it was that the King of Sicily suggested to the friars to dedicate it to his uncle Ludovico di Tolosa , also a Franciscan and recently sanctified. The word Cennano derives from the term “cennare”, or nod, in memory of the fact that both today and in the past, to announce the beginning of the festive masses, the bell sounded the so-called “Cenno”. Father and son Ricasoli financed the building of the church and the convent. The church inside consists of 7 altars and the high altar is dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament and to Saint Ludwig. For the realization of the high altar piece, the Ricasolis engaged the painter Sandro Botticelli, today, the work is believed to be the Madonna with Child and Saints which since 1808 has been at the Accademia Gallery in Florence. There are two side chapels: the one on the right, dedicated to Saint Francis and the one on the left, dedicated to Jesus. Before 1973, the church housed the fresco “Madonna with book in hand” which is now located in the Museo della Collegiata. The fresco was the object of strong devotion for all the people of Montevarchi because it was believed that the image had helped the city to emerge from a period of pestilence.