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Campi Bisenzio

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Inhabitants in 1991: 34.444

The territory of Campi extends for 28,62 square kilometres on the plains of Val di Bisenzio. It was a Medieval Podesta Office and became Seat of the community in 1700 with Calenzano, Signa, Quaracchi and Montemurlo under its jurisdiction; it reached its present day dimensions in 1928 with the aggregation of a part of the suppressed municipality of Brozzi.

An agricultural village it arose in the Dark Ages on marshy ground, its land reclaim seems to have been done in the VIII century by the Benedictine monks, Campi was noted for the first time in a privilege of Carlo Magno in 780; and here, in XII century, when the power over the place was exercised by the Fiorentino Episcopate and the Aberti Counts of Prato, an armed fortress was built by the family dei Mazzinghi, presumed vassals of the Aberti. The business of the castle, entered rapidly into the Firenze orbit, was tightly connected to that of the nearby city: it suffered in the course of XIII century the bloody consequences of the struggle between the Guelfi and Ghibellini (tradition has it that the antecedent of the division of the two Fiorentine groups came right to Campi, in the castle of the Guilfi Mazzinghi), the attack by Castruccio Castracani in 1325, of Giovanni da Oleggio in 1352 and lastly the conquest, the sackage and the grave destruction inflicted by the Spanish in 1512, when they marched on Firenze to restore the Lordship of the Medici. In modern times, Campi assumes the characteristic of a hardworking agricultural village: the fortress was transformed in XVII century into a farm and the number of inhabitants diminished.

At the beginning of the 1800s part of the antique fortification and the Medieval bridge over the Bisenzio was knocked down, with the justification of the need to give a more rational urbanistic aspect to the village. Combative community of the social reclamation since the last century, Campi made a notable contribution to the resistance: one of its young men, Lanciotto Ballerini, was decorated with the Memorial Gold Medal; thirteen men were shot in reprisals by the Germans in the district of San Piero a Ponti in August 1944. It was the birthplace of fra' (Monk) Ristoro (died 1284) designer of notable Gothic buildings like the antique church of Santa Marie Novella at Firenze and that of Santa Maria sopra Minerva at Roma.

Places to visit:
S. Biagio, church with 1400s portico, conserved inside are precious works of art.

Historical info reproduced upon authorization of Regione Toscana - Dipartimento della Presidenza E Affari Legislativi e Giuridici
Translated by Ann Mountford

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