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Visita il Mugello, culla dei Medici, a due passi da Firenze e le bellezze toscane

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Towns of the area

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Inhabitants in 1991: 20.439

The territory of the Pontassieve municipality extends for 114,44 square kilometres in the hilly zone between the Val di Sieve and Valdarno. Raised with the foundation of a castle as desired by Firenze a little after the middle of the XIV century it was a Medieval Podesta Office with a large jurisdiction (comprising even the territory of Pelago and di Rignano).

The first dominators of the territory were the Quona nobles, whose Lordship is documented from the XI century. These, a branch of whom at a later date also appeared under the name of Filicaia, urbanised themselves in Firenze at the end of the XII century and in 1207 sold a large part of its territory of jurisdiction to the Fiorentino Episcopate. In 1375 Firenze decreed the erection of a castle for an essentially strategic use on the land of Pontassieve, which would have had the name of Sant'Angelo; towards the end of XIV century, to augment the importance of the new settlement, a weekly market was conceded to the inhabitants. With the passing of the years its name of Sant'Angelo was superseded by that of Ponte a Sieve, thanks to the importance of the bridge which from time immemorial, more than once collapsed and reconstructed, served to pass over the ancient road that connected Firenze to Mugello, Casentino and Arezzo.

The first houses had spontaneously built up around the bridge, which were then developed becoming a village which was situated lower in respect to the castle built by the Fiorentini. The town did not have any great occasion for development until the end of the XVIII century when for a Grand Duchy incentive a new road to the Casentino was opened across the Consuma and, subsequently that to Romagna across San Godenzo: it was then that Pontassieve grew in a brief period, and for a new thrust received in 1859 with the construction of the Firenze-Roma railway. During the last war Pontassieve, for its importance as a rail junction, suffered substantial damage, remaining destroyed almost entirely and its present day aspect is due, for the most part, to the post war reconstruction.

Places to visit:
Medieval bridge reconstructed in 1550; the few remains of the ancient surrounding wall from 1300 and the three gates Filicaia, Fiorentina and Aretina (Clock tower).

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

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