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

Visiting Tuscany



Towns of the area

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Inhabitants in 1991: 26.393

Situated along the left bank of the Arno, at the point of influx with the Era, the municipal territory extends for 46,03 square kilometres on plains land. The municipality has Leopoldina origins, and suffered two changes to its borders in 1928 and 1929; in 1931 it extended into the district of Treggiana, which was included in the municipality of Palaia.

A castle opposite a bridge over the Era (from which it derives its name), there was no mention found of it before the XIII century, when it resulted as being a frontier settlement for the Pisa republic. Constant object of conflict and strife between Firenze and Pisa, for its strategic position, it passed repeatedly from the dominion of one to that of the other, suffering considerable destruction, the first of which in 1256 based on a treaty between Firenze and Lucca on one hand and Pisa on the other. In 1406 together with Pisa and its dominion, Pontedera was subjugated to the republic of Firenze, against whom it rebelled in 1431, putting itself under the protection of Piccinino, commander of the Duke of Milano’s army, from whom it was taken again the following year.

During a century of famine, epidemics and war, ransacking and destruction the land was depopulated and impoverished, to such an extent that in 1454 the Lords of Firenze decided to attract new inhabitants by providing tax exemptions, which were extended until 1534. Loyal to the Fiorentino government even during the rebellion of Pisa (whose troops were sent in 1494 on the occasion of Carlo VIII’s arrival in Italy [with the intention of conquering Firenze] but were dispersed), it suffered, in 1554 during the war with Siena, the definitive razing of the walls and their fortifications because they had taken in the Strozzi who were adversaries to the house of Medici. In the 1900s Pontedera saw a strong development of the peoples party and administrated by the socialists in 1920 it had developed a decisive resistance to Fascism, organising in 1921 a general strike against the first Fascistic actions in Firenze. Claimed as being a military objective for the presence of the Piaggio establishment where the four motored bomber aircraft were built, and for its function of road and rail junction, the urban centre underwent intense bombardments in 1940 and 1944 during the German occupation, to which was added the destruction committed by the retreating Nazis. Pontedera was the birthplace of the sculptor known with the name of Andrea Pisano (c.1295-1349) and Giovanni Gronchi (1887-1978) President of the republic from 1955 to 1962 .

Places to visit:
Cathedral, dedicated to S.Faustino, has a neoclassic façade from the XIX century. It contains diverse works of art
Ss, Jacopo e Filippo, church with Medieval origins, it was enlarged in 1600. Preserves 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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