credit Unicoop Firenze
Pilgrims run into the little Church of San Rocco at the corner of Bonaparte Square as they walk in order to continue along the VF and leaving the historical center of San Miniato. The building was built in 1524 and named San Sebastiano and San Rocco Church, both figures prayed by devotee to gain the protection from the plague. San Rocco, as a saint figure, had an unusual background compared with other saints and martyrs: the mystic figure was born in popular and folk cults. Sometime later, he got to be recognized by the official ecclesiastic Institution.
The legend around San Rocco says he was a pilgrim who walked from Montpellier to Rome. Here, he decided to leave all his goods and dedicate his life to sick people. It is said he could cure people from plague just from touching them with his miraculous hands. The traditional iconography (in painting and sculptures) have always represented this figure dressed in the characteristic outfit worn by the pilgrims along the Via Francigena.
The church is open and can be visited. What makes this place special and fascinating are the frescoes that decorates the walls: this is a work from a well renowned local painter, Enzo Giani. The atmosphere created by his style is incredibly strong and passionate, with the use of color and body shape that fill the religious scene with a post expressionist vibe.