A basilica in the middle of a meadow

canonica-sanmicheleIf you happen to pass near Scarlino, pay attention to the right side of the road. There is a green field framed by a cork forest with a semicircular apse in the middle of it.

A huge bush of ivy covers the top of the ruins of a bell tower. You may peep inside of it and see that the door seems like a passage in time.

This is the rectory of San Michele, the ruins of a basilica church of the XIIIth cetury. The apse walls have white and green horizontal bands which are typical of Pisan architecture: the direct analogies can be found in the Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa.

The church was abandoned in the XVth century when the plain with the swamp near Scarlino became insecure because of the assaults of Saracen pirates.