The fame and fortune of the sanctuary is based on the cult of a miraculous image of the Madonna, considered to be the protectress of Florence, which is traditionally attributed to Saint Luke the Evangelist.
According to legend the image was brought to Tuscany by Saint Romulus during the early period of Christianity. At the time of the Black Death in 1348, the cult of the Virgin of Impruneta also spread to Florence: in moments of crisis, such as natural calamities, epidemics and wars, it was taken down into the city in a solemn procession witnessed by large crowds of people.
Over the centuries the Medici and other members of the Tuscan nobility made generous donations to the sanctuary, building up the treasure now housed in the museum. This occupies the top floor of the large loggia erected in the 17th century next to the façade of the church. The treasure comprises liturgical objects in gold and silver, fabrics and illuminated manuscripts of great value, including a processional cross attributed to Lorenzo Ghiberti and the Reliquary of the True Cross, produced in 1620 to a commission by Maria Magdalena of Austria, wife of Cosimo II de’ Medici.
Museo del Tesoro di Santa Maria dell’Impruneta
Piazza Buondelmonti, 28, 50023 Impruneta FI, Italia