Church of Saint Michael

The church of Saint Michael preserves the only apse that has survived in its entirety among the 12th-13th century Romanesque churches in Serravalle Pistoiese. The origin of the church is still a matter of debate. It seems to be mentioned in a document dated to 764 AD, which represents the only testimony of the Lombard Period in Serravalle: the priest Aivaldo, who wish to wear the religious habit among the monks of the church of San Bartholomew in Pistoia, donated the ‘Sancti Angeli’ monastery, near the Nievole river, to the city. This has been identified by some scholars with the church of San Michael in Serravalle. An ‘ossuary’ was discovered under the current flooring,perhaps a remains of a potential monastic presence.

During the 17th century the façade was modified with the opening of the large baroque window. The portico dates back to the same period and it is well linked to the surrounding urban fabric, characterizing this part of the village.

Inside, on the left wall of the church, near the entrance, there is the triptych with ‘Madonna enthroned and the Child between Saints Hippolytus, James, Michael and Stephen’, dated to 1439 and attributed to Bartolomeo di Andrea Bochi (1400/1406-1475).
On the right wall, near the altar, part of an interesting fresco from the first decades of the fourteenth century is preserved: it depicts the miracle of Saint Blaise, whom the powers against sore throats are attributed to. The saint blesses the child with his right hand, while with his left he compresses the child’s glottis, because he is suffocating due to a fish bone. Probably, this fresco was part of a larger decoration relating to the life of Saint Blaise, who was venerated in Pistoian area and it often was in pictorial cycles.