The earliest documents attesting the presence of the church date back to a chronicle of 1618, describing an  Oratory of San Michele alle Formiche in the estate Le Serre; a canvas depicting a “Madonna and Child surrounded by saints” was already mentioned then. On the canvas, the coat of arms of the family Almeni can be seen in a central position, corresponding to the one in stone placed at the entrance to the Palazzo Almeni in Via Carraia.

It was precisely due to the presence of this painting that over time the church started being called “Church of Madonna delle Serre”. At the end of 1700 it underwent an important restoration supported by the new owners, the family Berte from Livorno. At the time, the church served as a private chapel for the family that owned the entire estate, so much so that in recent times some buried bodies of the Dufour Berte family and one of their servants were found here.

The painting depicting Madonna della Neve has now returned to what has been its location for centuries, inside the church of Le Serre, after it was kept at the Museum of Russian Icons “F. Bigazzi”, the current Museum of Palazzo Pretorio, from 2005, the year of its restoration, to 2011. During this period of time the painting returned to Le Serre only for one day a year, on the occasion of a yearly Festival, carried in procession on Saturday evenings. Today the work is on the altar, surrounded by a blue curtain, which kept it covered until the 1980s for some periods of the year, when it was not kept in the manor house of the estate.

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