Inhabitants in 1991: 6.359
municipal territory of Rignano sull'Arno extends for 54,21 square kilometres
in the Valdarno Superiore. A small Medieval fortified centre it
was made capital of the community in 1773 by Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo.
Probably a settlement of Roman origin, as shows the derivation
of the place name, Rignano is first noted in a document in 1066.
Near the parish church of San Leolino in the first decade of the
year 1000 a castle developed over which the monks of Sant'Ellero and
successively the monks of Vallombrosa claimed the rights towards
the end of the XII century (confirmed by Emperor Arrigo VI in 1191). In
documents of the first half of the XIV century the ancient settlement
had already been degraded to small castle, but at the same time a new
hamlet was developing near the bridge over the Arno erected by the
Fiorentina republic. The meagre surviving news of the municipal's
history is mostly connected to this bridge, frequently swept
away by the floods of the Arno and then rebuilt (in 1422, in 1459 and
in the XVII and XVIII centuries). In the meantime the surrounding territory
taking advantage of the relative nearness to Firenze and for the fertility
and pleasantness of the place, had become Seat of numerous "villas"
of Fiorentini landowners. With the Grand Duchy ruling of 1773, Rignano
became one of the seventy communities of the Fiorentino county and there
were thirteen parishes annexed which previously belonged to the jurisdiction
of Pontasseive. Among its celebrated sons Rignano honours the humanist
man of letters Vespasiano da Bisticci (1421-1498) and the painter
and writer Ardengo Soffice (1879-1964).
|Places to visit:
The 1900 parochial houses the precious works from the Roman parish
church of S. Leonino.
Historical info reproduced upon authorization of Regione Toscana - Dipartimento della Presidenza E Affari Legislativi e Giuridici
Translated by Ann Mountford