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Castel San Niccolò

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Inhabitants in 1991 : 2,859

The Municipal territory of Castel San Niccolò in the Valdarno Casentinese extends over an area of 83,14 square kilometres, on the north eastern slopes of the ridge of Pratomagno, from the highest part of the crest (Croce di Pratomagno, 1,591metres high) to the influx of the Solano stream with the Arno, on the plains of Campaldino, which in Roman times was crossed by roads which came from Firenze towards Pelago reaching Montemignaio and thus to Vado, where it adjoined the more important Casentinese road. A feudal centre, then Medieval Podesta office, in 1808 it was deprived of the hamlet of Montemignaio, with rights of the Seat of municipality ; it arrived at its present position in 1868, with the acquisition of the hamlets of Battifolle, Caiano, Poggio Vertelli, Ristonchi and Vertelli all previously part of the municipality of Montemignaio.

The castle of San Niccolò was, since the XIII century, one of the most fortified fortresses owned by the Counts Guidi in the Casentino. In 1342 the population, oppressed by the despotic governing of their Lord, Count Galeotto, rebelled and managed to oust him. Castel San Niccolò was given up spontaneously to Firenze and was made capital of a vast Podesta tenure, called della Montagna Fiorentina, comprising Montemignaio, Battifolle, Borgo alla Collina and Ortignano ; The acquisition of the municipality as part of the Fiorentina republic was sanctioned in 1359, with a public decree signed by the Count Marco dei Guidi. In 1440 the castle was protagonist of a long resistance to the state of siege by the troops of Niccolò Piccinino. After its decline, the inferior Borgo di Vado (born in medieval times as the castle’s market and called thus probably because it was formed near the ford of the Solano stream) acquired more importance and was renamed Strada, a town name which clearly indicates its origins, and that its development was due to its position on an important thoroughfare.

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

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