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Cetica is a small village on the slopes of the mountains of the Casentino, and one of several villages located in the Pratomagno region that includes the three old towns of St. Michael (or St. Angelo), St. Mary and St. Pancrazio, surrounded by small villages scattered among terraced fields.
It falls within the same district as Castel San Niccolo.
Visitors will find the Romanesque style medieval bridge interesting, and a good place to start a visit. The bridge once provided access to the castle, of which there are now only a few ruins. Across the bridge you can see an old water mill, called “Balenaio", then make a tour of the churches of Cetica - the most interesting monuments in the village.
Church of Saint Michael
The Church of Saint Michael (or Saint Angelo) at the center of the village is probably of Vallombrosan monastic origins and has a Romanesque nave to which the two sides were added later. The building is rectangular in shape and made of stone while the roof structure is made from wooden trusses. To the front of the church, the rectangular window was added in the 18th century to replace the traditional single window.
This church is a rare example of Romanesque building in the Casentino area, with a detached bell tower erected in the churchyard in front of the facade of the church itself. The two bells are supported by large wooden beams. Inside the Church in the aisle and of quality workmanship are a 15th century "Madonna and Child" by the Florentine painter Francesco Pesellino*.
To the left is a crucifix made of chestnut wood from the same epoch by the school of Donatello. A triptych depicting the "Madonna and Child with Saints", in tempera on panel and dated 1357, has recently been attributed to Taddeo Gaddi (1300-1366], while a Lady of the Rosary; in oil on panel, is attributed to Cosimo Dati (1550-1630).
Next to the church is the Museum of the Carbonaio.
Church of Saint Pancras
The Church of Saint Pancras was built of sandstone, and is probably of monastic origin, dating from the 13th century and with a Romanesque character. The interior has three naves and is rich in works of art, while on the main altar there is a painting of the Madonna del Rosario, by Pesellino, a pupil of Filippo Lippi.
The first mention of the church dates from 1276. It has one nave and retains a Romanesque structure despite the fact that in 1878 it was extended to the west, and the current façade was altered in 1647. In 1965 the building was restored which uncovered some fragments of 14th century frescoes.
Church of Santa Maria
The Church of Santa Maria in Cetica is mentioned for the first time in 1302 and 1276 when it was in the possession of the Guidi Counts. The church has one nave with a bell tower in front of the facade. The tower, probably originally a military tower, preserves its Romanesque masonry blocks of various sizes and the bottom of the front and left side have a wall of medieval times.
The building suffered severe damage during the last war and was later restored by removing the front porch which is connected with the bell tower.
Traditional cooking of Cetica and the Casentina
In recent years Cetica has substantially enhanced its territory, making the most of its art and traditions. Among local recipes, in particular Cetica is renowned for the chestnuts and beans, and also for the famous Potato of Cetica, which is a typical local product, and the porcini mushrooms, among the best in Tuscany.