Sant'Emiliano a Borgonuovo

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Sant’Emiliano a Borgonuovo near Cortona

Sant'Emiliano a Borgonuovo

The church of Sant'Emiliano a Borgonuovo (previously the Pieve di San Mamiliano a Cignano) near Cortona, Tuscany

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The parish church (pieve) of San Mamiliano a Cignano, now known as the church of Sant’Emiliano in Borgonuovo, is located on the Arretine hillside of the Val di Chiana, a short distance from the famous Abbey of Farneta, and was probably built along an important road in the area. Originally the parish belonged to the Diocese of Chiusi, as evidenced by a bull of Pope Celestino III addressed to Bishop Teobaldo in 1191 and by the tithes of the years 1275-1276, 1276-1277 and 1302-1303. Also on the basis of the tithe of the years 1302-1303, we know that the churches of San Niccolò di Cignano, San Salvatore di Cignano, San Cristoforo di Centoia and San Niccolò di Cintoia were under the jurisdiction of the parish church of San Mamiliano. In the year 1325, the territory of the Pieve di San Mamiliano was removed from Chiusi to form the new Diocese of Cortona. According to Repetti, in 1400 the parish was moved to the church of San Niccolò di Cignano, and consequently the former parish took on the current name of the church of Sant’Emiliano (a distortion of San Mamiliano) in Borgonuovo.

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Pieve di San Mamiliano a Cignano, now called Sant’Emiliano a Borgonuovo

The original layout of Sant’Emiliano a Borgonuovo was a basilica with three naves, terminated by three apses, and with a raised presbytery resting on a semi-underground crypt, all of which denote a Lombard influence of the 11 C. To date, only the central apse and the southern nave with its characteristic brick upper decoration are clearly visible. The northern nave has been lost and replaced by a new building that vaguely traces its layout. With the exception of the two apses, the other walls are not visible as they are plastered.