The village of Villamagna
A strategic castle-village founded in the 8th century
The hamlet of Villamagna includes that portion of the territory of the municipality of Volterra located to the north-west, beyond the Capriggine torrent that flows into the river Era near the Molino d’Era area. The first mention of Villamagna dates back to January 780 when a Longobard merchant native to the village, but resident in Pisa, donated some of his possessions to the abbey of Palazzuolo di Monteverdi Marittimo.
Despite its strategic location, on the top of a clayey relief between the Roglio and Fregione streams, and therefore difficult to take, since 1228 followed the fate of Volterra. It was sacked several times until the most atrocious siege, that of 1530, by the Florentines, which was followed by a plague epidemic that decimated the population.
Even today it is a discreet and silent place from which you can see a splendid view of the surrounding area.
To see the parish church of San Giovanni Battista and Santa Felicita. Until the 1970s, the parish held a panel by Rosso Fiorentino, known as “La Pala di Villamagna”, now preserved in the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art. Not far away, always near the cemetery is the six-eighteenth-century church of the Madonna della Neve. The canopy and the external loggia were built, thanks to the help of the faithful, to protect from the weather a 15th century fresco depicting a Madonna with Child, which was previously in a tabernacle. Here on August 5, the Feast of the Madonna of the Snow is still celebrated. The feast of Our Lady of Thanksgiving, also called Madonna del Tifo, which is held on the second Sunday of October, is also very much felt. This anniversary dates back to 1817 when a violent typhus epidemic broke out in the Volterra area: the inhabitants relied on the Madonna della Neve with the vow to venerate it and thank it. Having miraculously escaped the danger, they still express gratitude to Our Lady
Just before reaching the village on the right is the agricultural village of San Donnino, composed of a farm, a small church and the elegant 16th century villa, perhaps designed by Baldassare Peruzzi, which is accessed along an avenue of cypresses.