Gaville is a small village standing on the hills on the left bank of the Arno river near Figline e Incisa Valdarno. This area has been inhabited since ancient times thanks to its cardinal position. In fact, it is crossed by an ancient Roman road (the Cassia Adrianea or a branch of it). 
According to some 12th century documents, near the parish church there was a castle belonging to the eminent family of the Umbertini. 
Dante mentioned Gaville in his masterpiece The Divine Comedy ( Hell, XXV,151) . The poet says “l’altr’era quel che tu, Gaville, piangi”.
Fragments of bricks and vases of the Roman Empire age have been found near the church. This could testify that the area was a Roman “ Pagus”( property). Now here rises up the parish church with its rural buildings.
We find the name San Romolo a Cortule in some documents of the 11th century belonging to the Montescalari abbey. In fact the rebuilding of the church started in 1000AD.

The piviere (the area under the jurisdiction of the parish church) included 30 communities and it extended from the left bank of the Arno river to the Chianti. In 1175 the piviere was reduced because of the foundation of the church of Santa Maria in Figline Valdarno.
The façade is quite simple, it is composed of a lunette placed over the main entrance and a mullioned window.
Walking towards the apse we can see two small decorated stones into the wall. The stones, a human face and some geometrical elements, probably belonged to an older place of worship. The interior of the church is divided into three naves, the round arches are sustained by columns and pilasters whereas the roof is sustained by wooden trusses.
From 1947 to 1968 the restoration works gave the church its present look that is supposedly very accurate.

The main purpose of a decoration in a Romanesque parish church is not appearance but communication. For that reason near capitals with symbolic phytomorphic elements we find others describing the sacred texts and the Creation. From this point of view, the first capital and the third on the left side of the main aisle are particularly interesting.
In the church there are also other noteworthy pieces of art. On the left nave there is a beautiful Annunciation from the school of Ghirlandaio ( XVI century) while on the right one there is the sinopia of the fresco originally painted in the outside lunette and a painting depicting the archangel San Michele ( XVIII century).

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