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Impruneta

Impruneta is a town and comune of the province of Florence in the Italian region of Tuscany. The population is about 15,000.Name and productionThe name Impruneta is derived from inprunetis meaning "within the pine woods", and is known for its fine production of terracotta. The terracotta is made from local clay, has a red-colored finish, and production includes everything from small tiles to large garden vases and statues.Main sightsThe most important feature of Impruneta is the Sanctuary of Santa Maria. The Basilica dates from 1060, being probably located over an ancient devotional site of Etruscan times (6th century BC). It was an important site of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages.The basilica was bombed during World War II and now few of the original decorations can be seen. The façade is preceded by a portico by Gherardo Silvani (1634), built by the Florentine people as vow for the liberation from the plague, and by a bell tower from the 13th century. The interior has a single nave; artworks include a Nativity by Domenico Passignano and a Vocation of St. Peter by Jacopo da Empoli. The presbytery is flanked by two niches by Michelozzo decorated by Luca della Robbia, housing the relics of the Holy Cross and the Madonna's image to which the sanctuary is devoted and, which, according the tradition, was painted by St. Luke himself.
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